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Full text of "The history of the French revolution. By M.A. Thiers ... Tr., with notes and illustrations from the most authentic sources"

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The government had just sacrificed two parties at once. The first, that 
of the ultra-revolutionists, was really formidable, or likely to become so ; with 
the second, that of the new moderates, this was not the case. Its destruc- 
tion, therefore, was not necessary, though it might prove serviceable, in order 
to remove all appearance of moderation. The committee struck it without 
conviction, from hypocrisy and envy. This latter was a difficult blow to 
strike. The whole committee hesitated, and Robespierre withdrew to his 
home as on a day of danger. But St. Just, supported by his courage 
and his jealous hatred, remained firm at his post, cheered Herman and 
Fouquier, afirighted the Convention, wrung from it the decree of death, and 
caused the sacrifice to be consummated. The last effort that any authority 
has to make in order to become absolute is always the most difficult ; it is 
obliged to exert all its strength to overcome the last resistance ; but, this resist- 
ance vanquished, everything gives way, everything falls prostrate before it; 
it has now but to reign without obstacle. Then it is that it runs riot, expends 
its strength, and ruins itself. While all mouths are closed, while submission 
is in every face, hatred conceals itself in the heart, and the act of accusation 
of the conquerors is prepared amidst their triumph. 

The committee of public welfare, having successfully sacrificed the two 
descriptions of persons so different from each other who had presumed to 
oppose, or merely to find fault with, its power, had become irresistible. The 
winter was past. The campaign of 1794 (Germinal, year 2) was about to 
open with tlie spring. Formidable armies were to guard all the frontiers, 
and to cause that terrible power to be felt abroad which was so cruelly felt 



at home. Whoever had made a show of resistance, or of feeling any sym 
pathy with those who had been put to death, had no alternative but to hasten 
to offer their submission. Legendre, who had made an effort, on the day 
that Danton, Lacroix, and Camille-Desmoulins were arrested, and who had 
endeavoured to influence the Convention in their favour — Legendre deemed 
it right to lose no time in atoning for his imprudence, and in clearing him- 
self from his friendship for the late victims. He had received several anony- 
mous letters, the writers of which exhorted him to strike the tyrants, who, 
they said, had just thrown off the mask. Legendre repaired to the Jacobins 
on the 21st of Germinal (April 10), denounced the anonymous letters sent to 
him, and complained that the people took him for a Seid, into whose hands 
they could put a dagger. " Well, then," said he, " since I am forced to it, 
I declare to the people who have always heard me speak with sincerity, that 
I now consider it as proved, that the conspiracy, the leaders of which are no 
more, really existed, and that I was the puppet of the traitors. I have found 
proofs of this in various papers deposited with the committee of public wel- 
fare, especially in the criminal conduct of the accused before the national 
justice, and in the machinations of their accomplices, who wish to arm au 
honest man with the dagger of the murderer. Before the discovery of the 
plot, I was the intimate friend of Danton. I would have answered with my 
life for his principles and his conduct. But now 1 am convinced of his 
guilt. I am persuaded that he wished to plunge the people into a profound 
error. Perhaps I should have fallen into it myself, had I not been timely 
enlightened. I declare to the anonymous scribblers who want to persuade 
me to stab Robespierre, and to make me the instrument of their machina- 
tions, that I was born in the bosom of the people, that I glory in remaining 
there, and that I will die rather than abandon its rights. They shall not 
write me a single letter that I will not carry to the committee of public 
welfare." ^ 

The submission of Legendre was soon generally imitated. Addresses, 
pouring in from all parts of France, congratulated the Convention and the 
committee of public Avelfare on their energy. The number of these addresses, 
in every kind of style, and under the most burlesque forms, is incalculable. 
Each eagerly signified adherence to the acts of the government, and acknow- 
ledged their justice. Rhodez sent the following address : " Worthy repre- 
sentatives of a free people, it is then in vain that the sons of the Titans i^ve 
lifted their proud heads ; the thunderbolt has overthrown them all I What, 
citizens ! sell its liberty for base lucre ! The constitution which you have 
given us has shaken all thrones, struck terror into all kings. Liberty ad- 
vancing with giant step, despotism crushed, superstition annihilated, the 
republic recovering its unity, the conspirators unveiled and punished, unfaith- 
ful representatives, base and perfidious public functionaries, falling under the 
axe of the law, the fetters of the slaves in the New World broken — such are 
your trophies ! If intriguers still exist, let them tremble ! let the death of 
.the conspirators attest your triumph ! As for you, representatives, live happy 
in the wise laws which you have made for the welfare of all nations, and re- 
ceive the tribute of our love."* 

It was not from horror of sanguinary means that the committee had struck 
the ultra-revolutionists, but with a view to strengthen tlie hands of authority, 
and to remove the obstacles that impeded its action. Accordingly, it was 
afterwards seen constantly tending to a twofold aim : to render itself more 

* Sitliog of the 26ih GenniaaL Moniteur, No. 308, of th« jrear 2, (April, 1794.) 



and more formidable, and to concentrate power always in its own hands. 
Collot, who had become the spokesman of the government at the Jacobins, 
explained in the most energetic manner tlie policy of the committee. In a 
violent speech, in which he indicated to all the authorities the new track 
which they ought to pursue, and the zeal which they ought to display 
in their functions, he said, "The tyrants have lost their strength; tlieir 
armies tremble before ours ; several of the despots are already seeking to 
withdraw from the coalition. In this state, they have but one hope left, that ' 
of internal conspiracies. We must not cease, tlierefore, to keep a vigilant 
eye on the traitors. Like our victorious brethren on the frontiers, let us 
all present arms and fire all at once. While our external enemies fall beneath 
the strokes of our soldiers, let the internal enemies fall beneath the strokes 
of the people. Our cause, defended by justice and energy, shall be trium- 
phant.- Nature is this year bountiful to the republicans. She promises them 
a double harvest. The bursting buds proclaim the fall of the tyrants. I 
repeat to you, citizens, let us watch at home, while our warriors are fighting 
without; let the functionaries charged with the public concerns redouble 
their attention and zeal ; let them thoroughly impress themselves with this 
idea, that there is perhaps not a str^t, not a crossing, where there is not a 
traitor meditating a last plot. Let this traitor find death, ay, and the speedi- 
est of death. If the administrators, if the public functionaries wish to find 
a place in history, this is the favourable moment to think of doing so. The 
revolutionary tribunal has already secured for itself a distinguished place 
there. Let all the administrations imitate its zeal and inexorable energy ; 
let the revolutionary coiftmittees, in particular, redouble their vigilance and 
their activity ; and let them firmly withstand the importunities with which 
they are beset, and which would hurry them into an indulgence pernicious to 

St. Just presented to the Convention a formidable report on the general 
police of the republic. He therein repeated the fabulous history of all the 
conspiracies ; he exhibited them as the rising of all the vices against the 
austere system of the republic ; h^ said that the government, instead of re- 
laxing, ought to strike without ceasing, until it should have sacrificed all the 
wretches whose corruption was an obstacle to the establishment of virtue. 
He pronounced the customary eulogy on severity, and sought in the usual 
way, at that time, by figures, of all kinds, to prove that the origin of "the 
great institutions must be terrible. " What," said he, " would have become 
of an indulgent republic ? We have opposed sword with sword, and the re- 
public is founded. It has issued from the bosom of storms. It has this 
origin in common with the world arising out of chaos, and man weeping at 
the moment of his birth." In consequence of these maxims, St. Just pro- 
posed a general measure against the ex-nobles. It was the first of the kijid 
that was enacted. In the preceding year, Danton had, in a moment of irri- 
tation, caused all the aristocrats to be outlawed. This measure, impractica- 
ble on account of its extent, had been changed into another, which con- 
demned all suspected persons to provisional detention. But no direct law 
against the ex-nobles had yet been passed. St. Just held them forth as irre- 
concilable enemies of the revolution. " Do what you will," said he, " you 
will never be able to satisfy the enemies of the people, unless you re-esta- 
blish tyranny. Let them go elsewhere in search of slavery and kings. 
They cannot make peace with you ; you do not speak the same language ; 
you do not understand«ne another. Drive them out, then ! The world is 
not inhospitable, and with us the public welfare is tiie supreme law." St. 



Just proposed a decree banishing all the ex-nobles, all foreigners, from Paris, 
from the fortresses, and from the seaports, and declaring all those outlawed 
who should not have obeyed tlie decree within the space of ten days. Other 
clauses of this projet made it the duty of all the authorities to redouble their 
zeal and activity. The Convention applauded this proposition, as it always 
did, and voted it by acclamation. Collot-d'Herbois, the reporter of the de- 
cree to the Jacobins, added his own tropes to those of St. Just. " We must," 
said he, " make the body politic throw out the foul sweat of aristocracy. 
The more copiously it perspires the more healthy it will be." 

We have seen what the committee did to manifest the energy of its policy. 
We have now to show the course which it pursued for the still greater con- 
centration of power. In the first place, it ordered the disbanding of the revo- 
lutionary army. That army, a contrivance of Danton, had at first been ser- 
viceable for carrying into execution the will of the Convention, when relics 
of federalism stiU existed ; but, as it had become the rallying-point of all the 
agitators and all the adventurers, as it had served for a point of support to 
the late demagogues, it was necessary to disperse it. Besides, the govern- 
ment, being implicitly obeyed,* had no need of these satellites to enforce 
the execution of its orders. In consequence, a decree was passed for dis- 
banding it. The committee then proposed the abolition of the different 
ministries. Ministers were powers still possessing too much importance 
beside nfembers of the committee of public welfare. Either they left every- 
thing to be done by the committee, and m this case they were useless ; or 
they insisted on acting themselves, and then they were important com- 
petitors. The example of Bouchotte, who, directed by Vincent, had caused 
the committee so much embarrassment, was pregnant with instruction. 
The ministries were in consequence abolished, and in their stead the twelve 
following commissions were instituted; 

1. Commission of civil administration, police, and the tribunals. 

2. Commission of public instruction. 

3. Commission of agriculture and the arts. 

4. Commission of commerce and articles of consumption. 

5. Commission of public works. 

6. Commission of public succours. 

7. Commission of conveyance, posts, and public vehicles. 
9. Commission of finances. 

9. Commission of organization and superintendence of the land forces. 

10. Commission of the navy and the colonies. 

11. Commission of arms, gunpowder, and mines. 

12. Commission of foreign relations. 

These commissions, dependent on tlie committee of public welfare, were 
neither more nor less than twelve ofTiccs, among which the business of the 
administration was divided. Herman, who was president of the revolution- 
ary tribunal at the time of Danton's trial, was rewarded for his zeal by 
the appointment of chief of one of tliese commissions. To him was given 
the most important of them, that of civil administration, police, and tribunals. 

* " One only power now remained — alone, terrible, irresistible. Tliis was the power of 
DiATH, wielded by a faction steeled against every feeling of humanity, dead to every princi- 
ple of justice. In their iron hands order resumed its sway from the influence of terror ; obe- 
dience became universal from the extinction of hope. Silent and unresisted, they led their 
victims to the scaffold, dreaded alike by the soldiers, who crouched, the people, who trembled, 
and the victims, who suffered. The history of the world has n«» parallel to the horrors of that 
long night of suffering !" — Alison. E. 


Other measures were adopted to effect more completely the cejitralization 
of power. Accordmg to the institution of the revolutionary committees, 
there was to be one for each commune or section of a commune. The rural 
communes being very numerous and inconsiderable, the number of commit- 
tees was too great, and their functions were almost null. There was, more- 
over, a great inconvenience in their composition. The peasants being very 
revolutionary but generally illiterate, the municipal functions had devolved 
upon proprietors who had retired to their estates, and were not at all dis- 
posed to exercise power in the spirit of the government. In consequence, 
a vigilant eye was not kept upon the country, and especially upon the man- 
sions. To remedy this inconvenience, the revolutionary committees were 
abolished and reduced to district committees. By these means the police, 
in becoming more concentrated, became also more active, and passed into 
he hands of the tradesmen of districts, who were almost all stanch Jacobins, 
and very jealous of the old nobility. 

The Jacobins were the principal society, and the only one avowed by 
the government. It had invariably adopted the principles and the interests 
of the latter, and, like it, spoken out against the Hebertists and Dantonists. 
The committee of public welfare was desirous that it should absorb in itself 
almost all the others, and concentrate all the power of opinion, as it had con- 
centrated in itself all the power of the government. This wish was extreme- 
ly flattering to the ambition of the Jacobins, and they made the greatest 
efforts for its accomplishment. Since the meetings of the sections had been 
reduced to two a week, in order that the people might be able to attend them, 
and to secure the triumph of revolutionary motions, the sections had formed 
themselves into popular societies, and a great number of such societies had 
been established in Paris. There were two or three of them in each section. 
We have already mentioned the complaints preferred against them. It was 
said that the aristocrats, that is, the commercial clerks and the lawyers' 
clerks, dissatisfied with the requisition, the old servants of the nobility, all 
those, in short, who had any motive for resisting the revolutionary system, 
met at these societies, and there showed the opposition which they durst 
not manifest at the Jacobins or in the sections. The number of these 
secondary societies prevented any superintendence of them, and opinions 
which would not have dared to show themselves anywhere else, were some- 
times expressed there. It had already been proposed to abolish them. The 
Jacobins had not a right to do so, neither could the government have taken 
such a step, without appearing to infringe the freedom of meeting and de- 
liberating together, a freedom so highly prized at that time, and which, it 
was held, ought to be unlimited. On the motion of Collot, the Jacobins de- 
cided that they would not receive any more deputations from societies formed 
in Paris since the 10th of August, and that the correspondence with them 
should be discontinued. As to those which had been formed in Paris before 
the 10th of August, and which enjoyed the privilege of correspondence, it 
was decided. that a report should be made upon each, to inquire whether 
they ought to retain that privilege. This measure particularly concerned 
the Cordeliers, already struck in their leaders, Ronsin, Vincent, and Hebert, 
and considered as suspected. Thus all the sectionary societies were con- 
demned by this declaration ; and the Cordeliers were to undergo the ordeal 
of a report. 

It was not long before this measure produced the intended effect. All the 
sectionary societies, forewarned or inthnidated, came one after another to the 
Convention and to tlie Jacobins, to declare their voluntary dissolution. All 


congratulated alike the Convention and Jacobins, and declared that, formed i 
for the public benefit, they voluntarily dissolved themselves, since their 
meetings had been deemed prejudicial to the cause which they meant to 
serve. From that time there were left in Paris only the parent society of 
the Jacobins, and in the provinces the affiliated societies. That of the Cor- 
deliers, indeed, still subsisted beside its rival. Instituted formerly by Dan- 
ton, ungrateful towards its founder, and since wholly devoted to Hebert, 
Ronsin, and Vincent, it had given a momentary uneasiness to the govern- 
ment, and vied with the Jacobins. The wrecks of Vincent's office and of 
the revolutionary army still assembled there. It could not well be dissolved ; * 
but tlie report was presented. This report stated that for some time past it .M 
corresponded but very rarely and very negligently with the Jacobins, and ^ 
that consequently it might be said to be useless to continue to it the privilege 
of correspondence. It was proposed, on this occasion, to inquire whether 
more tlian one popular society was needed in Paris. Some even ventured 
to assert that a single centre of opinion ought to be established and placed at 
the Jacobins. The society passed to the order of the day on all these pro- 
positions, and did not even decide whether the privilege of correspondence 
should still be granted to the Cordeliers. But this once celebrated club had 
terminated its existence. Entirely forsaken, it was no longer of any account, 
and the Jacobins, with their train of affiliated societies, remained sole mas- 
ters and regulators of public opinion. 

After centralizing opinion, if we may be allowed the term, the next thing 
thought of was to give regularity to the expression of it, to render it less 
tumultuous and less annoying to the government. The continual observa- 
tion and the denunciation of the public functionaries, magistrates, deputies, 
generals, administrators, had hitherto constituted the principal occupation of 
the Jacobins. This mania for incessandy attacking and persecuting the 
agents of authority, although it had its inconveniences, possessed also its 
advantages, whilst any doubt could be entertained of their zeal and their 
opinions. But now that the committee had vigorously seized the supreme 
power, that it watched its agents with great vigilance and selected them in 
the most revolutionary spirit, it would have been prejudicial to the commit- 
tee, nay even dangerous to the state, to permit the Jacobins to indulge their 
wonted suspicions, and to annoy functionaries for the most part closely 
watched and carefully chosen. It was on occasion of Gknerals Charbonnier 
"and Dagobert being both calumniated, while one was gaining advantages 
over the Austrians, and the other expiring in the Cerdagne, oppressed with 
age and wounds, that Collot d'Herbois complained at the Jacobins of this 
indiscreet manner of condemning generals and functionaries of all kinds. 
Throwing, as usual, all blame upon the dead, he imputed this mania of de- 
nunciation to the relics of Heberl's faction, and besought the Jacobins no 
longer to permit these public denunciations, which, he said, wasted the valu- 
able time of the society, and tlirew a stigma on the agents selected by the 
government. He therefore proposed that the society should anpoint a com- 
mittee to receive denunciations and to transmit them secretly to the committee 
of public welfare ; and tiiis motion was adopted. In this manner denuncia- 
tions became less inconvenient and less tumultuous, and demagogue disorder 
began to give way to the regularity of administrative forms. 

Thus tlien to declare in a more and more enerpctic manner against the 
enemies of the Revolution, and to centralize the adminisuration, tlie police, 
and the public opinion, were the fifst concerns (^ the committee and tlie 
first fruits of the victory which it had gained over all the parties. Ambition 


began, no doubt, to interfere in its determinations much more than in the first 
moment of its existence, but not so much as the great mass of power which 
it had acquired might lead one to infer. Instituted at the commencement of 
1793, and amidst urgent dangers, it owed its existence to emergency alone. 
Once instituted, it had gradually assumed a greater share of power, in proportion 
as it needed more of it for the service of the state, and it had thus attained 
the dictatorship itself. Such had been its position amidst that universal dis- 
solution of all the authorities, that it could not reorganize without gaining 
power, and act well without indulging ambition. The last measures which 
it had adopted were no doubt profitable to it, but they were prudent and use- 
ful. Most of them had even been suggested to it, for in a society which 
is reorganizing itself, everything comes to submit to its creative authority. 
But tlie moment was at hand when ambition was to reign paramount, and 
■when the interest of its own. power was to supersede that of the state. 
Such is man. He cannot long remain disinterested, and he soon adds self to 
the object which he is pursuing. 

The committee of public welfare had still one concern to attend to, a con- 
cern which always preoccupies the founders of a new society, namely, reli- 
gion. It had already paid homage to moral ideas by making integrity, 
justice, and all the virtues, the order of the day ; it had now to direct its 
attention to religious ideas. 

Let us here temark the singular progress of their systems among these 
sectaries. When they aimed at destroying the Girondins, they represented 
them as moderates, as faint republicans, talked of patriotic energy and public 
welfare, and sacrificed them to these ideas. When two new parties were 
formed, the one brutal, extravagant, striving to overthrow, to profane, every- 
thing : the other indulgent, easy, friendly to gentle manners and pleasures, 
they passed from ideas of patriotic energy to those of order and virtue. 
They no longer beheld a fatal moderation undermining the strength of the 
Revolution, they saw all the vices arrayed at once against the severity of the 
republican system. They beheld, on the one hand, anarchy rejecting all belief 
in God, effeminacy and corruption rejecting all idea of order, mental delirium 
rejecting all idea of morals. They then conceived the republic as virtue assailed 
by all the bad passions at once. The word virtue was everywhere : they placed 
justice and integrity upon the order of the day. It yet remained for them to 
proclaim the belief in God, the immortality of the soul, all the moral creeds ; 
it yet remained for them to make a solemn declaration, to declare, in short, 
the religion of the state. They resolved, therefore, to pass a decree on this 
subject.* In this manner they should oppose order to the anarchists, faith in 
trod to the atheists, and morals to the dissolute. Their system of virtu&would 
be complete. They made it above all a particular point to remove from the 
republic the stigma of impiety, with which it was branded throughout all Eu- 
rope. They resolved to say what is always said to priests who accuse you of 
impiety because you do not believe in their dogmas — We believe in God. 

They had other motives for adopting a grand measure in regard to reli- 
gion. The ceremonies of reason had been abolished ; festivals were re- 

• " The Dictators possessed in the highest degree that fanaticism which distinguished 
certain social theories ; just as the Fifth-monarchy men of the English revolution, to whom 
thej may be compared, possessed that of certain religious ideas. The first desired the most 
absolute political equality, as the others did evangelical equality ; the former aspired to the 
reign of virtue, as the other to the reign of the saints. In all affairs, human nature is apt to run 
into extremes, and produces, in a religious age, evangelical democrats — in a philosophic age, 
political democrats." — MIgnd. E. 
VOL. III. — 2 



quired for the tenth days ; and it was of importance, when attending to the 
moral and religious wants of the people, to think of their wants of the ima- 
gination, and to furnish them with subjects of public meetings. Besides, 
the moment was one of the most favourable. The republic, victorious at 
the conclusion of the last campaign, began to be so at the commencement of 
this. Instead of the great destitution of means from which it was suffering 
last year, it was, through the care of its government, provided with powerful 
military resources. From the fear of being conquered it passed to the hope 
of conquering. Instead of alarming insurrections, submission prevailed 
everywhere. Lastly, if, owing to the assignats and the maximum, there 
was still some restraint upon the internal distribution of productions. Nature 
seemed to have been pleased to load France with all her bounties, in bestow- 
ing upon her the most abundant crops. From all the provinces tidings ar- 
rived that the harvest would be double, and the com ripe a month before the 
usual time. This was therefore the moment for prostrating that republic, 
saved, victorious, and loaded with favours, at the feet of the Almighty. The 
occasion was grand and touching for those who believed. It was seasonable 
for those who merely complied with political ideas. 

Let us remark one singular circumstance. Sectaries, for whom there ex- 
isted no human convention that was respectable, who, from the extraordinary 
contempt in which they held all other nations, and the esteem with which 
they were filled for themselves, dreaded no opinion, and wop not afraid of 
Wounding that of the world; who in matters of government hi^d reduced 
everything to just what was absolutely necessary ; who had admitted no 
other authority but that of a few citizens temporarily elected ; who had not 
hesitated to abolish the most ancient and the most stubborn of all religions- 
such sectaries paused before two ideas, morality and faith in God. After 
rejecting all those from which they deemed it possible to release man, they 
remained under the sway of the two latter, and sacrificed a party to each of 
them. If some of them did not believe, they nevertheless all felt a want of 
order among men, and, for the support of this human order, the necessity of 
acknowledging in the universe a general and intelligent onler. This is the first 
time in the history of the world that the dissolution of all the authorities left 
society a prey to the government of purely systematic minds — for the Eng- 
lish believed in the Christian religion — and those minds which had outstrip- 
ped all the received ideas adopted, retained, the ideas of morality and faith 
in God. This example is unparalleled in the history of the world: it is 
singular, it is grand, it is beautiful : history cannot help pausing to remark iL 

Robespierre was reporter on this solemn occasion; and to him alone it 
belonged to be so, according to the distribution of the parts which had been 
made among the members of the committee. Prieur,* Robert Lindet, and 
Carnot, silently superintended the administrative and the war departments. 
Barrere made most of the reports, particularly those which related to ♦the 
operations of the armies, and all those in general which it was necessary to 
nake extempore. Collot-d'Herbois, the declaimer, was despatched to the 
clubs and the popular meetings, to convey to them the messages of the com 
mittee. Couthon, though paralytic, likewise went everywhere, harangued 

• " Prieur was originally a barrister at Chalons. In 1792 he was depatetl to the Conren* 
tion, where he voted for the King's death, and was afterwards appointed a member of th« 
committee of public safety. In 1794, after the fall of the Mountain, he was appointed prosi- 
dent of the Convention. Having been engaged in the insurrection of 1795, he concealed 
himself for some time, and was pardoned in the following year. Prieur was a humane man, 
but not remarkable for ability." — Biographic Modcrne. E. 



the Convention, the Jacobins, the people, and possessed the art of exciting 
interest by his infirmities, and by tlie paternal tone which he assumed in 
saying the most violent tilings. Billaud, less excitable, attended to the cor- 
respondence, and sometimes discussed questions of general policy. St. Just, 
young, daring, and active, went to and fro between the fields of battle and the 
committee ; and, when he had impressed terror and energy on the armies, 
he returned to make murderous reports against the parties whom it was 
requisite to send to death.* Lastly, Robespierre, the head of them all, con- 
sulted on all matters, spoke only on important occasions. For him were 
reserved tlie high moral and political questions, as more worthy of his talents 
and his virtue. The duty of reporter on the question which was about to be 
discussed belonged to him by right. None had spoken out more decidedly 
against atlieism, none was so venerated, none had so high a reputation for 
purity and virtue, none, in short, was so well qualified by his ascendency 
and his dogmatism for this sort of pontificate. 

Never had so fair an occasion offered for imitating Rousseau, whose opi- 
nions he professed and whose style he made his continual study. The 
talents of Robespierre had been singularly developed during the long strug- 
gles of the Revolution. That cold and heavy being began to speak extem- 
pore ; and when he wrote, it was with purity, brilliancy, and energy. In 
his style was to be found somewhat of the poignant and gloomy humour of 
Rousseau, but Re had not been able to borrow either the grand ideas or the 
generous and impassioned soul of the author of Emile. 

On the 18tli of Floreal (May 7, 1794) he appeared in the tribune, with a 
speech which he had composed with great care. Profound attention was 
paid to him. " Citizens," said he, in his exordium, •' it is in prosperity that 
nations, like individuals, should pause to reflect and listen, in the silence of 
the passions, to the voice of wisdom." He then developed at length the 
system adopted. The republic, according to hira, was virtue ; and all the 
adversaries which it had encountered were but vices of all kinds, excited 
against it and paid by kings. The anarchists, the corrupt men, the atheists, 
had been but the agents of Pitt. "The tyrants," added he, "satisfied with 
the hardihood of their emissaries, had been anxious to exhibit to the view of 
tlieir subjects the extravagances which they had purchased, and, affecting to 
believe that they characterized the whole French nation, they seemed to say 
to them, ' What will you gain by shaking off our yoke ? The republicans, 
you see, are no better than ourselves !' " Brissot, Danton, Hebert, figured 
by turns in Robespierre's speech ; and, while he was launching out into de- 
clamations of hatred against the pretended enemies of virtue — declamations 
already extremely trite — he excited but little enthusiasm. Presently, relin- 
quishing this portion of the subject, he rose to ideas truly grand and moral, 
and expressed with talent. He then obtained universal acclamations. He 
justly observed that it was not as the authors of systems that the representa- 
tives of the nation ought to discourage atheism and to proclaim deism, but as 
legislators seeking what principles are most suitable to man in a state of 
society. " What signify to you, O legislators !" he exclaims — " what signify 
to you the various hypotheses by which certain philosophers explain the 
phenomena of Nature ? You can leave all these subjects to their everlasting 
disputes. Neither is it as metaphysicians nor as theologians that you ought 
to view them. In the eyes of the legislator, all that is beneficial to the world 

* In one of these " murderous reports" St. Just maJe use of the following atrocious remark: 
" The vessel of the Revolution can ool'' arrive safely in port by ploughing its way boldly 
through a red sea of blood." E. 


and good in practice is truth. The idea of the Supreme Being and of the 
immortality of the soul is a continual recall to justice; it is therefore social 
and republican. Who then," exclaims Robespierre, "hath given thee the 
mission to proclaim to the people that the Deity hath no existence ? O thou 
who art in love with this steril doctrine, and wast never in love with thy 
country, what advantage dost thou find in persuading man that a blind power 
presides over his destinies and strikes at random guilt and virtue ? That his 
spirit is but a breath which is extinguished at the threshold of the tomb ? 
Will the idea of his annihilation inspire purer and more exalted sentiments 
than that of his immortality ? Will it inspire him with more respect for his 
fellow-creatures and for jiimself, more devotedness to his country, more 
courage to defy tyranny, more contempt of death and of sensual pleasure ? 
Ye, who mourn a virtuous friend, who love to think that the better part of 
him has escaped death — ye who weep over the coffin of a son, or of a wife — 
are ye consoled by him who tells you that nothing but vile dust is left of 
either ? Unfortunate mprtal, who expirest by the steel of the assassin, thy 
last sigh is an appeal to eternal justice ! Innocence on the scaffold makes 
the tyrant turn pale in his car of triumph. Would it possess this ascendency, 
if the grave equalled the oppressor and the oppressed ?"* 

Robespierre, still confining himself to the political side of the question, 
adds these remarkable observations. "Let us," said he, "here take a lesson 
from history. Take notice, I beseech you, how the men wh8 have exercised 
an influence on the destinies of states have been led into one or the other of 
two opposite systems by their personal character and by the very nature of 
their political views. Observe with what profound art Csesar, pleading in 
the Roman senate in behalf of the accomplices of Catiline, deviates into a 
digression against the dogma of the immortality of the soul, so well calcu- 
lated do these ideas appear to him to extingiiish in the hearts of the judges 
the energy of virtue, so intimately does the cause of crime seem to be con- 
nected with that of atheism. Cicero, on the contrary, invoked the sword 
of the law and the thunderbolts of the gods against the traitors. Leonidas, 
at Thermopylffi, supping with his companions in arms, the moment before 
executing the most heroic design that human virtue ever conceived, invited 
them for the next day to another banquet in a new life. Cato did not hesitate 
between Epicurus and Zeno. Brutus and the illustrious conspirators who 
shared his dangers and his glory, belonged also to that sublime sect of the 
stoics, which had such lofty ideas of the dignity of man, which carried the 
enthusiasm of virtue to such a height, and which was extravagant in heroism 
only. Stoicism brought forth rivals of Brutus and of Cato, even in those 
frightful ages which succeeded the loss of Roman liberty. Stoicism saved 
the honour of human nature, degraded by the vices of the successors of 
Caesar, and still more by the patience of the people." 

On the subject of athejsm, Robespierre expresses himself in a singnlar 
manner concerning the Encyclopedists : " In political matters," said he, 
" that sect always remained below the rights of the people ; in point of mo- 
rality it went far beyond the destruction of religious prejudices : its leaders 
Jiometimes declaimed against despotism, and they were pensioned by despots : 
sometimes they wrote books against the court, at others dedications to kings, 

* At the time when Robespierre was indulging in all this specious declamation, be was 
making every ciTort to bring to maturity a sanguinary despotism unparalleled in the annals 
of the world. Not less than thirty innocent individuals were daily led to the scalfold, at the 
very period when this canting demagogue wtts solemnly and sentimentally proclaiming the 
last sigh of the murdered victim to be " an appeal to eternal justice !" E. 


speeches for courtiers, and madrigals for courtezans. They were proud in 
their works, and cringing iu tlie antechambers. This sect propagated with 
gieat zeal the opinion of materialism, which prevailed among the great 
and among tlie beaux esprits ; to it we owe in part that kind of practical 
philosophy which, reducing selfishness to a system, considers human so- 
ciety as a warfare of trickery, success as the rule of right and wrong, 
integrity as a matter of taste or decorum, the world as the patrimony of clever 

"Among those who, at the time of which I am speaking, distinguished 
themselves in the career of letters and philosophy, one man, by the loftiness 
of his character, proved himself worthy of the office of preceptor of mankind. 
He attacked tyranny with frankness ; he spoke with enthusiasm of tlie Deity ; 
liis manly and straightforward eloquence described, in words that bum, tlie 
charms of virtue ; and defended those consolatory dogmas which reason fur- 
nishes for the support of the human heart. The purity of his doctrine derived 
from nature and from a profound hatred of vice, as well as his invincible con- 
tempt for the intriguing sophists who usurped the name of philosophers, drew 
upon him the enmity and the persecution of his rivals and of his false friends. 
Ah ! if he had witnessed this Revolution of which he was the forerunner, 
who can doubt that his generous soul would have embraced with -transport 
the cause of liberty and equality !"* 

Robespierre then strove to counteract the idea that, in proclaiming the wor- 
ship of the Supreme Being, the government was labouring for the benefit of 
the priests. " What is tliere in common between the priests and God ? The 
priests are to morality what quacks are to medicine. How diiTerent is the 
God of Nature from the God of the priests. I know nothing that so nearly 
resembles atlieism as the religions which they have framed. By grossly 
misrepresenting the Supreme Being, they have annihilated belief in him as 
far as lay in tlieir power. They made him at one time a globe of fire, at 
another an ox, sometimes a tree, sometimes a man, sometimes a king. The 
priests have created a God after their own image ; they have made him jea- 
lous, capricious, greedy, cruel, and implacable ; they have treated him as 
the mayors of the palace formerly treated the descendants of Clovis, in order 
to reign in his name and to put themselves in his place ; they have confined 
him in heaven as in a palace, and have called him to earth only to demand 
of him for their own interest tithes, wealth, honours, pleasures, and power. 
The real temple of the Supreme Being is the universe ; his worship, virtue ; 
his festivals, the joy of a great nation, assembled in his presence to knit closer 
the bonds of universal fraternity, and to pay him the homage of intelligent 
and pure hearts." 

Robespierre then said that the people needed festivals. " Man," he ob- 
served, " is the grandest object that «ists in nature, and the most magnificent 
of all sights is that of a great people assembled together." In consequence, 
he proposed plans for public meetings on all the Decadis. He finished his 
report amidst the warmest applause; and proposed the following decree, 
which was adopted by acclamation : 

"Art. 1. The French people acknowledges the existence of the Supreme 
Being and tlie immortality of the soul. 

"Art. 2. It acknowledges that the worship most worthy of the Supreme 
Being is the practice of the duties of, man." 

J, of whon I 

* Robespierre here alludes to Rousseau, of whon sickly pbiloM^by he was throughout U£i 
■a ardent admirer. E. 




Other articles purported that festivals should be instituted, in order to r^ 
mind man of the Deity and of the dignity of his own nature. They were to 
borrow their names from the events of the Revolution, or from the virtues 
most beneficial to man. Besides the festivals of the 14th of July, the 10th 
of August, the 21grt of January, and the 31st of May, the Republic was to 
celebrate on all the Decadis the following festivals : to the Supreme Being 
— to the human race — to the French people — to the benefactors of mankind 
— to the martyrs of liberty — to liberty and equality — to the republic — to the 
liberty of the world — to the love of country — to hatred of tyrants dnd traitors 
-—to truth — to justice — to modesty — to glory — to friendship— to frugality — 
to courage — to good faith — to heroism — to disinterestedness — to stoicism— 
to love— to conjugal fidelity — to paternal affection — to filial piety — to infancy 
— to youth— to manhood — to old age — to misfortune — to agriculture— to in- 
dustry—to our ancestors — to posterity — to happiness. 

A solemn festival was ordered for the 20th of Prairial, and the plan of it 
was committed to David. It is proper to add that, in this decree, freedom 
of religion was anew proclaimed. 

No sooner was this report finished, than it was sent to be printed. On the 
same day, the commune and the Jacobins, demanding that it should be read, 
received it with applause, and deliberated upon going in a hotly to the Con- 
vention to present their thanks for the sublime decree which it had just 
passed. It had been remarked that the Jacobins had been silent after the 
immolation of the two parties, and had not gone to congratulate the com- 
mittee and the Convention. A member had noticed this, and said that it was 
a fit occasion for proving the union of the Jacobins with a government which 
displayed such admirable conduct. An address was accordingly drawn up 
and presented to the Convention by a deputation of the Jacobins. That 
address concluded thus : " The Jacobins come this day to thank you for the 
solemn decree that you have just issued ; they will come and join you in 
the celebration of that great day on which the festival of the Supreme Being 
shall assemble the virtuous citizens throughout all France to sing the hymn 
of virtue." The president made a pompous reply to the deputation. " It 
is worthy," said he, " of a society which fills the world with its renown, 
which enjoys so great an influence upon the public opinion, which has asso- 
ciated at all times with all the most courageous of the defenders of* the rights 
of man, to come to the temple of the laws to pay homage to the Supreme 

The president proceeded, and, after a very long harangue on the same 
subject, called upon Coutlion to speak. The latter made a violent speech 
against atheists and corrupt men, and pronounced a pompous eulogy on the 
society. He proposed on that solemn day of joy and gratitude to do the 
Jacobins a justice which had long been du« to them, namely, to declare that, 
ever since the commencement of the Revolution, they had not ceased to de- 
serve well of the country. This suggestion was adopted amidst thunders of 
applause. The assembly broke up in transports of joy, nay, indeed, in a 
sort of intoxication. 

If tlie Convention had received numerous addresses after the death of the 
Ilebertists and the Dantonists, it received many more after the decree pro- 
claiming the belief in the Supreme Being. The contagion of ideas and 
words spreads with ^traordinary rapidity among the French. Among a 
prompt and commumcklive people the idea that engages some few minds 
soon engages the attenli6n of the pnblic generally ; the word that is in some 
mouths is soon in all. -vAddresses poured in from all parts, congratulating 


the Convention on its sublime decrees, thanking it for having established 
virtue, proclaimed the worship of the Supreme Being, and restored hope to 
man. All the sections came, one after another, to express similar senti- 
ments. The section of Marat, appearing at the bar, addressed the Moun- 
tain in these words : " beneficent Mountain ! protecting Sinai ! accept 
also our expressions of gratitude and congratulation for all the sublime de- 
crees which thou art daily issuing for the happiness of mankind. From thy 
boiling bosom darted the salutary thunderbolt, which, in crushing atheism, 
gives us genuine republicans the consolatory idea of living free, in the sight 
of tlife Supreme Being, and in expectation of the immortality of the soul. 
TTie Convention forever! The Republic forever ! The Mountain for- 
ever V All the addresses besought the Convention anew to retain the 
supreme power. There was one even which called upon it to sit till the 
reign of virtue should be established in the republic upon imperishable 

From that day, the words Virtue and Supreme Being were in every 
mouth. Instead of the inscription, To Reason, placed upon the fronts of 
the churches, there was now inscribed, To the Supreme Being. The 
remains of Rousseau were removed to the Pantheon. His widow was 
presented to the Convention, and a pension settled upon her. 

Thus the committee of public welfare, triumphant over all the different 
parties, invested with all the powers, placed at the head of an enthusiastic 
and victorious nation, proclaiming the reign of virtue and the worship of the 
Superme Being, was at the hSight of its authority, and at the last term of its 



In Europe and in France the winter had been spent in making prepara- 
tions for a new campaign. England was still the soul of the coalition, and 
urged the continental powers to advance and to destroy on the banks of the 
Seine a revolution that alarmed her, and a rival who was hateful to her. The 
implacable son of Chatham had this year made immense efforts to crush 
France. It was, however, not without opposition that he had obtained from 
the English parliament means proportionate to his vast projects. — Lord Stan- 
hope in the Upper House, Fox and Sheridan* in the Lower, were still hos- 

• Fox and Sheridan observed "that the conduct of government since the war commenced 
had been a total departure from the principle! of moderation on which they bad «o much 
prided themselves before it broke out They then used language which breathed only the 
•trictect neutrality, and this continued even after the King had been dethroned, and many of 



tile to the system of war. They refused all sacrificea demanded by the ministers. 
They were for granting only just what was necessary for the defence of the 
coast, and above all they would not suffer tliis war to be termed just and 
necessary: it was, in their opinion, unjust, ruinous, and punished with just 
reverses. The pretended motives deduced from the opening of the Scheldt, 
the dangers of Holland, and the necessity of defending the British constitu- 
tion, were false. Holland had not been endangered by the opening of the 
Scheldt, and the British constitution was not threatened. The aim of minis- 
ters was to destroy a people who had determined to be free, and to keep 
continually increasing their personal influence and authority, upon pretext 
of resisting the machinations of the French Jacobins. This struggle had 
been maintained by unfair means. Civil war and massacre had been fo- 
mented, but a brave and generous nation had frustrated the attempts of its 
adversaries by unexampled courage and efforts. Stanhope, Fox, and Sheri- 
dan, concluded that such a war was disgraceful and ruinous to England. 
They were mistaken on one point. The English Opposition may frequently 
reproach ministers with waging unjust wars, but never disadvantageous ones.* 
If the war carried on against France had no motive of justice, it had excel- 
lent motives of policy, as we shall presently see, and the Opposition, misled 
by generous sentiments, overlooked the advantages that were about to result 
from it to England. 

Pitt affected alarm at the threats of invasion uttered in the tribune of the 
Convention. He pretended that country-people in Kent had said, "The 
French are coming to bring us the rights of man." He made Uiis language 
(paid for, it is said, by himself) a pretext for asserting that the constitutioa 
was threatened ; he had denounced the constitutional societies in England, 
which had become rather more active, after the example set them by the 
clubs of France ; and he insisted that, under pretence of a parliamentary re- 
form, their design was to establish a Convention. In consequence, he de- 
manded the suspension of the habeas corpus, the seizure of the papers of 
those societies, and the institution of proceedings against some of their mem- 
bers.! He demanded, moreover, the privilege of enrolling volunteers, and 
of maintaining them by means of donations or subscriptions, of increasing 
tlie force of the army and navy, and of raising a corps of forty tliousand 
foreigners, French emigrants and others. The Opposition made a spirited 
resistance. It asserted tliat there was nothing to warrant the suspension of 
the most valuable of the liberties of Englishmen : that the accused societies 
deliberated in public ; that their wishes, openly expressed, could not be con- 
spiracies, and that they were the wishes of all England, since they were 
confined to parliamentary reform ; that the immoderate increase of the land 
forces was pregnant with danger to the English people ; that, if the volunteers 
could be armed by subscription, it would become allowable for the minister 
to raise armies without the sanction of parliament; that the maintenance of 
80 great a number of foreigners would be ruinous, and that it had no otlier 

the worst atrocities of the Revolution had been perpetrated ; but now, eren though they did 
not altogether reject negotiation, they issued declarations evidently calculated to render it im- 
possible, and shake all failb in the national integrity." — Parliamentary History. E. 

* M. Thiers seema to have forgotten Lord North's " disadvantageous" America njr «r» 
which cost England so much blood and treasure, and was attended with such humintlng 
results. £. 

-j- An alludon to the various proaecutions of the reformers which took place about this time 
in Scotland, and to the celebrated trial of Hardy, Thelwal, and Home Tooke, in EnglMid. 
for treason. £. 




object than to pay Frenclimen for being traitors to their country. In spite 
of the remonstrances of the Opposition, which had never been either more 
eloquent or less numerous, for it comprehended no more than thirty or forty 
members, Pitt obtained all that he desired, and carried all the bills which he 
had presented.* 

As soon as these demands were granted, he caused the militia to be 
doubled ; he increased the land forces to sixty thousand men, and the naval 
forces to eighty thousand; he organized fresh corps of emigrants, and brought 
to trial several members of the constitutional societies. An English jury, a 
more solid guarantee than the parliament, acquitted the accused ; but this 
was of little consequence to Pitt, who had in his hands all the means of re- 
pressing the slightest political movement, and of wielding a colossal power 
in Europe. 

This was the moment for profiting by this general war to crush France, 
to ruin her navy for ever, and to take her colonies from her— a much more 
sure and enviable result in the estimation of Pitt than the repression of cer- 
tain political and religious doctrines. He had succeeded in the preceding 
year in arming against France the two maritime powers which should always 
have continued in alliance with her — Spain and Holland ; he was anxious to 
keep them in their political error, and to turn it to the best account against the 
French navy. England was able to send out of her ports at least one hun- 
dred sail of the line, Spain forty, and Holland twenty, exclusively of a mul- 
titude of frigates. How was France, with the fifty or sixty ships left her 
since the conflagration at Toulon, to cope with such a force ? Though, no 
naval action had yet been fought, the English flag was paramount in the Medi- 
terranean, in the Atlantic Ocean, and in the Indian Seas. In the Mediter- 
ranean, the English squadrons threatened the Italian powers which were 
desirous of remaining neuter, blockaded Corsica with a view to wrest that 
island from us, and awaited a favourable moment for landing troops and 
stores in La Vendee. In America, they surrounded our Antilles, and sought 
to profit by the terrible dissensions prevailing between the whites, the mulat- 
toes, and the blacks, to gain possession of- them. In the Indian seas, they 
completed the establishment of British power and the ruin of Pondicherry. 
With anotlier campaign our commerce would be destroyed, whatever might 
bt the fortune of arms on the -continent. Thus nothing could be more politic 
tl^ian the war waged by Pitt with France, and the Opposition was wrong to 
find fault with it on the score of advantages. It would have been right in 
one case only, and that case has not yet occurred ; if her debt, continually 
increasing and now become enormous, is really beyond her wealth, and de- 
stined some day to overwhelm her, England will have exceeded her means,, 
and will have done wrong in struggling for an empire which will have cost, 
her her strength. But this is a mystery of the future. 

Pitt hesitated at no violence to augment his means and to aggravate tho^ 
calamities of France. The Americans, happy under Washington, freely 
traversed the seas, and began to engage in that vast carrying-trade which has. 
enriched them during the long wars of the continent. Pitt subjected their 
vessels to impressment. The British squadrons stopped American ships, 
and took away men belonging to their crews. More than five hundred ves- 
sels had already undergone this violence, and it was the subject of warm 
remonstrances on the part of the American government, but they were not. 

■ " The House of Commons passed the bill for the suspension of 'he Habeas Corpus Act 
by a majority of 261 to 43. In the House of Lords it was adopted without a division."— 
Annual Regitter. E. 

VOL. III. — 3 B 2 


listened to. This was not all. By favour of the neutrality, the AmericanSf 
the Danes, tlie Swedes, frequented our ports, bringing thither succours in 
corn, which the dearth rendered extremely valuable, and many articles neces- 
sary for the navy ; and took away in exchange the wines and other produc- 
tions with which the soil of France furnishes the world. Owing to this 
intermediate agency of neutrals, commerce was not entirely interrupted, and 
the most urgent wants were supplied. England, considering France as a 
besieged place, which must be famished and reduced to extremity, meditated 
the infraction of these rights of neutrals, and addressed notes full of sophistry 
to the northern courts, in order to enforce a violation of the ri^t of nations. 

While England was employing these means of all kinds, she had still 
forty thousand men in the Netherlands, under the command of the Duke of 
York. Lord Moira, who had been unable to reach Granville in time, was 
lying at Jersey with his squadron and a land force of ten thousand men. 
Lastly, the English treasury held funds at the disposal of all the belligerent 

On the continent the zeal was not so great. The powers which had not 
the same interest in the war as England, and which engaged in it for pre- 
tended principles alone, prosecuted it neither with the same ardour nor with 
the same activity. England strove to rouse the general zeal. She still held 
Holland under her yoke by means of the Prince of Orange, and obliged her 
to furnish her contingent to the allied army of the North. Thus that un- 
happy nation had its ships and its regiments in the service of its most formi- 
dable enemy, and against its most steadfast ally. Prussia, notwithstanding 
the mysticism of her king, had in a great measure shaken off* the illusions 
with which she had been fed for two years past. The retreat of Champagne, 
in 1T92, and that of the Vosges, in 1793, had nothing encouraging for her. 
Frederick William, who had exhausted his exchequer, and weakened his 
army in a war which could not have any favourable result for his kingdom, 
and which could prove serviceable at most to the house of Austria, would 
have been glad to relinquish it. An object, moreover, of much greater inte- 
rest to him called him northward ; namely, Poland, which was in motion, 
and the dissevered members of which were tending to reunite. England, 
surprising him amidst this indecision, prevailed upon him to continue the 
war by tlie all-powerful means of her gold. She concluded at the Hague, 
in her name and in that of Holland, a treaty by which Prussia engaged to 
furnish sixty-two thousand four hundred men for the service of the coalition. 
This army was to be under a Prussian commander, and all the conquests 
that it should make were to belong jointly to the two maritime powers — 
England and Holland. In return, those two powers promised to furnish the 
King of Prussia with fifty thousai\d pounds sterling per month for the main- 
tenance of his troops, and to pay him besides for bread and forage. Over 
and above this sum, they granted three hundred thousand pound?, to defray 
the first expenses of taking the field, and one hundred thousand for the return 
to the Prussian states. At this price Prussia continiied the impolitic war 
which she had begun.* 

The house of Austria had no longer any catistrophe to avert in France, 
since the princess whom she had given to Louis XVL had expired on the 
scaffold. That power had less to fear from the Revolution than any other 
country, since the political discussions of the last thirty years have not yet 

• "The discontent of the Pranian troops was loudly proclaimed when it transpired that 
they were to be transferred to the pay of Great Britain; and they openly murmured at tlie 
<lisgraco of luiviag the soldiera of the great Frederick sold, like merccu&ries, to a foreign 



awakened the public mind in her dominions ; it was, therefore, merely re- 
venge to fulfil an engagement, a wish to gain some fortresses in the Nether- 
lands, perhaps too, but this must have been vague, the silly hope of having 
a share of our provinces, that induced Austria to continue the war. She 
carried it on with more ardour than Prussia, but not with much more real 
activity; for she merely completed and reorganized her regiments without 
increasing their number. A great part of her troops was in Poland, for she 
had, like Prussia, a powerful motive for looking back, and for thinking of 
the Vistula as much as of the Rhine. Gallicia occupied her attention not 
less than the Netherlands and Alsace. 

Sweden and Denmark maintained a wise neutrality, and replied to the 
sophistries of England that the public right was immutable, that there was 
no reason for violating it towards France, and for extending to a whole 
country the laws of blockade, laws applicable only to a besieged place ; that 
Danish and Swedish vessels were well received in France ; that they found 
there not barbarians, as the French were called, but a government whiclr 
did justice to the demands of commercial foreigners, and which paid all due 
respect to the nations with which it was at peace ; that there was, therefore, 
no reason for breaking off an advantageous intercourse with it. In conse- 
quence, though Catherine, quite favourable to the plans of the English, 
seemed to decide against the rights of neutral nations, Sweden and Denmark 
persisted in their resolutions, preserved a prudent and firm neutrality, and 
concluded a treaty by which both engaged to maintain the rights of neutrals, 
and to enforce the observance of a clause in the treaty of 1780, which closed 
the Baltic against the armed ships of such powers as had no port in that sea. 
France, therefore, had ground to hope that she should still receive com from 
the north, and the timber and hemp requisite for her navy. 

Russia, continuing to affect much indignation at the French Revolution, 
and giving great hopes to the emigrants, thought of nothing but Poland, and 
entered so far into the policy of tlie English merely to obtain their adhesion 
to hers. This accounts for the silence of England on an event of not less 
importance than the sweeping of a kingdom from the political stage. At 
this moment of general spoliation, when England was reaping so large a 
share of advantages in the south of Europe and in every sea, it would not 
have become her to talk the language of justice to the copartitioners of 
Poland. Thus the coalition, which accused France of havings fallen into 
barbarism, was committing in the North the most impudent robbery that 
policy ever engaged in, meditating a similar procedure against France, and 
contributing to destroy for ever the liberty of the seas. 

The German princes followed the movements of the house of Austria. 
Switzerland, protected by her mountains, and freed by her institutions from 
engaging in a crusade on behalf of monarchies, persisted in not espousing 
either party, and covered by her neutrality the eastern provinces, the least 
defended of all France. She pursued the same course upon the continent 
which the Americans, the Swedes, and the Danes, followed at sea. She 
rendered the same services to French commerce, and reaped the same bene- 
fit from her conduct. She supplied us with the horses necessary for our 
armies and with catde, of which we had been deficient since the war had 
ravaged the Vosges and La Vendue ; she exported the produce of our manu- 
factures, and thus became the intermediate agent of a most lucrative traffic 

power. The event soon demonstrated that the succours stipulated from Prussia would 
prove of the most inefficicat description." — Aliwn. E. 


Piedmont continued the war, no doubt, with regret, but she could not consent 
to lay down her arms, so long as she should lose two provinces. Savoy and 
Nice, at this sanguinary and ill-played game. The Italian powers wished 
to be neuter, but they were exceedingly annoyed on account of this intention. 
The republic of Genoa had seen the English resort to an unworthy pro- 
cedure in her port, and commit a real attack upon the right of nations. They 
had seized a French frigate, lying there under shelter of the Genoese neu- 
trality, and had slaughtered the crew. Tuscany had been obliged to dismiss 
the French resident. Naples, which had recognised the republic when the 
French squadrons threatened her coasts, made great demonstrations against 
her, since the English flag was unfurled in the Mediterranean, and promised 
10 succour Piedmont with eighteen thousand men. Rome, fortunately pow- 
erless, cursed us, and had allowed Basseville, the French agent, to be mur- 
dered within its walls. Lastly, Venice, though far from feeling flattered by 
the demagogue language of France, would not on any account engage her- 
self in a war, and hoped, by favour of her distant position, to preserve her 
neutrality. Corsica was on the point of being wrested from us, since Paoli 
had declared for the English.* The only places that we had yet left there, 
were Bastia and Calvi. 

Spain, the most innocent of our enemies, continued an impolitic war 
against us, and persisted in committing the same blunder as Holland. The 
duties which the thrones pretended to have then to perform against France, 
the victories of Ricardos, and the English influence, decided her to try 
another campaign, though she was greatly exhausted, in want of soldiers, 
and still more of money. The celebrated Alcudia caused d'Aranda to be 
disgraced for having advised peace. 

Politics, therefore, had changed but little since the preceding year. Inte- 
rests, errors, blunders, and crimes, were the same in 1794 as in 1793. 
England alone had increased her forces. The allies still had in the Nether- 
lands one hundred and fifty thousand men, Austrians, Germans, Dutch, and 
English. Twenty -five or thirty thousand Austrians were at Luxemburg; 
sixty-five thousand Prussians and Saxons in the environs of Mayence. Fifty 
thousand Austrians, intermixed with some emigrants, lined the Rhine from 
Mannheim to Basle. The Piedmontese army still consisted of forty thou- 
sand men and seven or eight thousand Austrian auxiliaries. Spain had made 
some levies to recruit her battalions, and demanded some pecuniary aid of 
her clergy, but her army was not more considerable than in the preceding 
year, being still limited to about sixty thousand men, divided between the 
eastern and western Pyrenees. 

It was in the North that our enemies proposed to strike the most decisive 
blows against us by supporting themselves upon Cond^, Valenciennes, and 
Le Qucsnoy. Th" celebrated Mackt had drawn up in London a plan from 
which great results were expected. This time the German tactician had 
been rather more bold, and he had introduced into his plan a march to Paris. 

• " The crown of Corsica, which had boon offerod by Paoli and the aristocratical party, to 
the King of England, was accepted, and efforts immediately made to confer upon the inhabit- 
ants a constitution similar to that of Great Britain." — Annual Register. E. 

\ " Bonaparte i>peaking to me of him one day, said, ' Mack is a man of the lowest medio- 
crity I evoT saw in my life ; he is full of self-sufficiency and conceit, and believes himself equal 
to anything. He has no talent I should like to see him opposed aome day to one of oar 
good generals ; we should then see fine work ! He is a boaster, and that is all. He is 
really one of the most silly men existing ; and beaidea that, be is unlucky.' " — Bvur 
rictine. E. 


Unluckily it was ratlier too Jate for any daring attempt ; for the French 
could no longer be taken by surprise, and their forces were immense. The 
plan consisted in taking another fortress, that of Landrecies, collecting in 
force at that point, bringing the Prussians from tlie Vosges towards the Sam- 
bre, and marching forward, leaving two corps on the wings, one in Flanders, 
the other on the Sambre. At the same time Lord Moira was to land troops 
in lia Vendee, and to increase our dangers by a double march upon Paris. 

To take Landrecies, when in possession of Valenciennes, 'Conde, and Le 
Quesnoy, was a puerile conceit ; to cover the communications towards the 
Sambre was most judicious ; but to place a corps to guard Flanders was 
absolutely useless, when the intention was to form a powerful invading mass ; 
to bring the Prussians upon the Sambre was a questionable proceeding, as 
we shall presently see ; lastly, to make a diversion in La Vendee was too 
late by a year, for the great Vendee had perished. We shall" soon perceive, 
from the comparison of the project with the event, the vanity of all these 
plans drawn up in London.* 

The coalition had not, we say, brought into play great resources. There 
were at this moment only three really active powers in Europe — England, 
Russia, and France. The reason of this is simple. England was anxious 
to make herself mistress of the seas, Russia to secure Poland, and France to 
save her existence and her liberty. There was no natural energy except in 
these great powers ; there was no purpose noble but that of France ; and in 
behalf of this interest she made the greatest efforts that history has ever 

The permanent requisition, decreed in the month of August in the pre- 
ceding year, had already supplied the armies with reinforcements and con- 
tributed to the successes with which the campaign concluded ; but this 
important measure was not destined to produce its full effect till the ensuing 
campaign. Owing to this extraordinary movement, twelve hundred thousand 
men had left their homes, and covered the frontiers or filled the depots of the 
interior. The brigading of these fresh troops had been commenced. One 
battalion of the line was incorporated with two battalions of the new levy, 
and excellent regimeftts were thus formed. On this plan, several hundred 
thousand men had been organized, and they were distributed on the frontiers 
and in the fortresses. They were, including the garrisons, two hundred and 
fifty thousand in the North ; forty thousand in the Ardennes ; two hundred 
thousand on the Rhine and the Moselle ; one hundred thousand at the foot 
of the Alps ; one hundred and twenty thousand at the Pyrenees ; and eighty 
thousand between Cherbourg and La Rochelle. The means for equipping 
these forces had been neither less prompt nor less extraordinary than those 
for assembling them. The manufactures of arms established in Paris and in 
the provinces, had soon attained the degree of activity which was intended 
to be given to them, and produced great quantities of cannon, swords, and 
muskets. The committee of public welfare, skilfully turning the French 
character to account, had contrived to bring into vogue the manufacture of 
saltpetre. In the preceding year it had already ordered an examination of 
all cellars for the purpose of extracting from them the mould impregnated 
with saltpetre. It soon adopted a still better method. It drew up directions, 
a model of simplicity and clearness, to teach the citizens how to lixiviate the 

• Those who wish to read the best political and military discussion on this subject are r*» 
fened to the critical memoir on that campaign written by General Jomini, and appended to 
hia great History of the Wars of the Revolution. £. 


mould of cellars. It also took into its pay a number of operative chemists to 
instruct them in the manipulation. The practice soon became generally in- 
troduced. People imparted to others the instructions which they had 
received, and each house furnished some pounds of this useful salt. Some 
of the quarters of Paris assembled for the purpose of carrying with pomp to 
the Convention the saltpetre which they had fabricated. A festival was in- 
stituted, on which each came to deposit his offering on the altar of the 
country. Emblematic forms were given to this salt; all sorts of epithets 
were lavished upon it ; some called it the avenging salt, others the liberating 
salt. The people amused themselves with it, but produced considerable 
quantities ; and the government had attained its object. Some inconve- 
niences naturally arose out of all this. The cellars were dug up, and the 
mould, after it had been lixiviated, lay in the streets, which it encumbered 
and spoiled. An ordinance of the committee of public welfare put an end to 
this nuisance, and the lixiviated earth was replaced in the cellars. Saline 
matters ran short : the committee ordered that all the herbage, not employed 
either as food for cattle or for domestic or rural purposes, should be imme- 
diately burned, in order to be employed in the making of saltpetre, or con- 
verted into saline substances. 

Government had the art to introduce another fashion that was not less ad- 
vantageous. It was easier to raise men and to manufacture arms than to 
find horses, of which the artillery and the cavalry were deficient. The war 
had rendered them scarce, and, owing to the demand and the general rise in 
tlie prices of all commodities, they were very dear. It was absolutely ne- 
cessary to recur to the grand expedient of requisitions, that is to say, to take 
by force what an indispensable necessity demanded. In each canton, one 
horse out of every twenty-five was taken and paid for at the rate of nine hun- 
dred francs. Mighty, however, as force may be, good-will is much more 
effective. At the suggestion of the committee, a horse-soldier, fully equipped, 
was offered to it by the Jacobins. The example was then universally fol- 
lowed. Communes, clubs, sections, were eager to offer to the republic what 
were called Jacobin Horsemen, completely mounted and equipped. 

There were now soldiers, but officers were still warning. The committee 
acted in this respect with its accustomed promptitude. " The Revolution," 
said Barrere, " must accelerate all things for the supply of its wants. The 
Revolution is to the human mind what the sun of Africa is to vegetation." 
The school of Mars was re-establislied ; young men, selected from all the 
provinces, repaired on foot, and in military order, to Paris. Encamped in 
tents on the plain of Sablons, they repaired thither to acquire rapid instruc- 
tion in all the departments of the art of war, and then to be distributed amotag 
tlie armies. 

Efforts equally energetic were made to recompose our navy. It consisted 
in 1789, of fifty sail of the line and as many frigates. The disorders of the 
Revolution, and the disaster of Toulon, had reduced it to about fifty vessels, 
only thirty of which, at most, were in a fit state to be sent to sea. Men 
and officers were what they stood most in need of. The navy required ex- 
perienced men, and all the experienced men were incompatible with the 
Revolution. The reform effected in the staffs of the land forces, was there- 
fore still more inevitable in the staffs of tlie naval forces, and could not fail 
to cause a much greater disorganization in the latter. The two ministers, 
Monge and d'Alijarade, had succumbed under these difficulties and I)een dis- 
missed. The committee resolved, in this instance also, to have recourse to 
extraordinary means. Jean-Bon-St.>Aadre, and Prieur of La Mame, were 


sent to Brest with the usual powers of commissioners of the Convention. 
The Brest squadron, after arduously cruising for four months off the west 
coast to prevent communication between the Vendeans and the English, had 
mutinied in consequence of its long hardships. No sooner had it returned 
than Admiral Morard de Gales was arrested by the representatives, and ren- 
dered responsible for the disorderly conduct of the squadron. The crews 
were entirely decomposed and reorganized in the prompt and violent man- 
ner of the Jacobins. Peasants, who had never been at sea, were put on 
board the ships of the republic to manoeuvre against veteran English sailors. 
Inferior officers were raised to the highest ranks, and Captain Villaret-Joy- 
euse* was promoted to tlie command of the squadron. In a month, a fleet 
of thirty ships was ready to sail : it left the port full of enthusiasm, and 
amidst the acclamations of the people of Brest ; not, indeed, to defy the for- 
midable squadrons of England, Holland, and Spain, but to protect a convoy 
of two hundred sail, bringing a considerable quantity of corn from America, 
and ready to fight to the last extremity, if the safety of the convoy required 
it. Meanwhile, Toulon was the theatre of not less rapid creations. The 
ships which h^d escaped the flames were repaired and new ones built. ,The 
expenses were levied upon the property of tlie Toulonese, who had con- 
tributed to surrender their port to the enemy. For want of the large ships 
which were under repair, a multitude of privateers covered the sea, and made 
valuable prizes. A bold and courageous nation, which lacks the means of 
carrying on war upon a large scale, may always resort to petty warfare, and 
therein exert its intelligence and its valour ; by land it wages the war of 
partisans, at sea, that of privateers. According to the report of Lord Stan- 
hope, we had taken, from 1793 to 1794, four hundred and ten vessels, 
whereas the English had taken from us only three hundred and sixteen. 
The government then did not renounce the task of re-establishing even the 
naval porfcon of our forces. 

Such prodigious efforts could not fail to produce their fruit, and we were 
about to reap, in 1794, the benefit of our exertions in 1793. 

The campaign first opened on the Pyrenees and on the Alps. Far from 
being active on the western, it was destined to be much more so on the 
eastern Pyrenees, where the Spaniards had conquered the line of the Tech, 
and still occupied the famous camp of Boulou. Ricardos was dead, and 
that famous general had been succeeded by one of his lieutenants, the Count 
de la Union, an excellent soldier, but an indifferent commander. Not hav- 
ing yet received the fresh reinforcements which he expected, La Union 
thought of nothing further than keeping Boulou. The French were com- 
manded by the brave Dugommier, who had retaken Toulon. Part of the 
materiel and of the troops employed in that service had been sent before 
Perpignan, while the new levies were training in the rear. Dugommier was 
enabled to bring thirty-five thousand men into line, and to profit by the 
wretched state in which the Spaniards then were. Dagobert, still enthusi- 
astic in spite of his age, proposed a plan of invasion by the Cerdagne, which, 

• " Louis Thomas Villaret-Joyeuse, a French vice-admiral, served at first in the infantry. 
An afiair of honour in which he killed his adversary obliged him to quit his corps, and he 
went to Brest, entered into the navy, and made himself known as a brave and intelligent 
officer. In 1789 he declared for the Revolution, and from 1793 to 1796 was employed at 
the head of the French fleets, but was generally unsuccessful. In 1797 he quitted the navy 
and was deputed to the council of Five Hundred where be spoke against the Terrorists. 
In the year 1802 he was appointed captain-general of Martinique, uid in 1805 was decorated 
with the red ribboiL" — Biographu Modame. E. 


carrying the French beyond the Pyrenees and upon the rear of the Spanish 
army, would have obliged the latter to fall back. It was deemed preferable 
to attempt, in the first instance, an attack on the camp of Boulou, and Dago- 
bert, who was with his division in the Cerdagne, was directed to await the 
result of that attack. The camp of Boulou, situated on the banks of the 
Tech, and with its back to the Pyrenees, had for outlet tlie causeway of 
Belleearde, which forms the high road between France and Spain. Dugom- 
» mier, mstead of attacking the enemy's positions, which were extremely well 
fortified, in front, strove by some means to penetrate between Boulou and 
the causeway of Bellegarde, so as to reduce the Spanish camp. His plan 
was completely successful. La Union had pushed the bulk of his forces to 
Ceret, and left the heights of St. Christophe, which commanded the Boulou, 
insufficiently guarded. Dugommier crossed the Tech, despatched part of 
his troops towards St. Christophe, and attacked with the rest tlie front of 
the Spanish positions, and, after a brisk action, remained master of the 
heights. From that moment the camp ceased to be tenable. The enemy 
was obliged to retreat by the causeway of Bellegarde ; but Dugommier took 
possession of it, and left the Spaniards only a narrow and difficult track 
across the Col de Ported. Their retreat soon became a rout. Being 
charged briskly and opportunely, they fled in confusion, leaving us fifteen 
hundred prisoners, one hundred and twenty pieces of cannon, eight hundred 
mules laden with their baggage, and camp effects for twenty thousand men. 
This victory, gained in the middle of Floreal (the beginning of May), made 
us masters of the Tech, and carried us beyond the Pyrenees. Dugommier 
immediately blockaded CoUioure, Port-Vendre, and St. Elme, with the in- 
tention of retaking them from the Spaniards. At the moment of this im- 
portant victory, the brave Dagobert, attacked by a fever, closed his long and 
glorious career. This noble veteran, aged seventy-six years, carried with 
him the regret and the admiration of the army. • 

Nothing could be more brilliant than the opening of the campaign in the 
eastern Pyrenees. In the western we took the valley of Bastan, and these 
triumphs over the Spaniards whom we had not yet conquered, occasioned 
universal joy. 

I'owards the Alps, we had yet to establish our line of defence on the 
great chain. Towards Savoy, we had, in the preceding year, driven back the 
Piedniontese into the valleys of Piedmont, but we had to take the posts of 
the Little St. Bernard and of Mont Cenis. Towards Nice, tlie army of 
Italy was still encamped in sight of Saorgio, without being able to force the 
formidable camp of the Fourches. General Dugommier had been succeeded 
by old Dumerbion, a brave officer, but almost always ill with tlie gout. 
Fortunately, he suffered himself to be entirely directed by young Bonaparte, 
who in the preceding year had decided the reduction of Toulon, by recom- 
mending the attack of Little Gibraltar. This service had gained Bonaparte 
the rank of general of brigade and high consideration in the army.* After 

* The following is the Duchess d'Abrantos's vivid and interesting description of Bona 
partc's personal appearance at this period of his career, when he had just been appointed 
general of brigade : " When Napoleon came to see us after our return to Paris, his appear* 
ance made an impression on me which I shall never forget At this period of his life he 
was decidetliy ugly ; be afterwards underwent a total change. I do not speak of the illusive 
charm which his glory spread around him, but I mean to say that a gradual physical change 
took place in him in the space of seven years. His emaciated thinness was converted into 
a fulness of fiice, and his complexion, which had been yellow ami apparently unhealthy, 
became clear and comparatively fresh ; his features, which were angular and sharp, became 
round and filled out. As to his smile, it was alwaya agreetble. The mode of drMsixig hia 


leconnoiteriDg the enemy's positions, and ascertaining tlie impossibility of 
carrying the camp of tlie Fourches, he was struck by an idea not less hap- 
py than that which, in the preceding year, had restored Toulon to the 
republic. Saorgio is situated in the valley of the Roy a. Parallel with this 
valley is tliat of Oneglia, in which runs the Taggia. Bonapaite conceived 
the idea of throwing a division of fifteen thousand men into the valley of 
Oneglia, making this division ascend to the sources of the Tanaro, then 
pushing it forward to Mount Tanarello, which borders the upper Roya, and 
thus intercepting the causeway of Saorgio, between the camp of the 
Fourches and the Col di Tenda. The camp of the Fourehes, cut off by 
these means from the liigh Alps, must necessarily fall. This plan was 
liable but to one objection, namely, that it obliged the army to encroach on 
the territory of Genoa. But the republic had no need to make any scruple 
of this, for in the preceding year two thousand Piedmontese had passed 
through the Genoese territory and embarked at Oneglia for Toulon ; besides, 
the outrage committed by the English on the frigate La Modeste, in the 
very port of Genoa, was the most signal violation of a neutral country. 
There was, moreover, an important advantage in extending the right of the 
army of Italy to OnegHa, which consisted in covering part of the Riviera of 
Genoa, in driving tlie privateers from the little harbour of Oneglia where they 
were accus^fcnsed to take refuge, and thus giving security to the commerce 
of Genoa with the south of France. This commerce, which was carried on 
by coasters, was exceedingly annoyed by English cruisers and squadrons, 
and it was important to protect it, because it contributed to supply the south 
with grain. There could, therefore, be no hesitation in adopting the plan 
of Bonaparte. The representatives applied to the committee of public wel- 
fare for the necessary authority, and the execution of this plan was imme> 
mediately ordered. 

On the 17th of Germinal (April 6) a division of fourteen thousand men, 
divided into five brigades, crossed the Roya. General Massena* proceeded 

hair, which had such a droll appearance as we see it in the prints of the passage of the 
bridge of Areole, was then comparatively simple; for the young men of fashion, whom he 
used to rail at so loudly at that time, wore their hair very long. But be was very careless 
of his personal appearance ; and his hair, which was ill-combed and ill-powdered, gave him 
the look of a sloven. His little hands too underwent a great metamorphosis. When I 
first saw him, they were thin, long, and dark ; but he was subsequently vain of their beauty, 
and with good reason. In short, when I recollect Napoleon at the commencement of 1794, 
with a shabby round hat drawn over hb forehead, and his ill-powdered hair hanging over 
the collar of his gray great-coat, which afterwards became as celebrated as the white plume 
of Henry IV., without gloves, because he used to say they were a useless luxury, with 
boots ill-made and ill-blacked — with his thinness and his sallow complexion — in line, when 
I recollected him at that time, and I think what he was afterwards, I do not see the same 
man in two pictures." E. 

• " Andre Massena, Duke of Rivoli and Prince of Esslingen, Marshal of France, was 
bom in 1758 at Nice, and rose from a common soldier to the rank of commander. In 
1792, when the warriors of the republic bad ascended Mount Cenis, he joined their ranks; 
distinguished himself by courage and sagacity; and in 1793 was made general of brigade. 
Ill the ensuing year he took the command of the right wing of the Italian army. He was 
the constant companion in arms of Bonaparte, who used to call him the spoiled child of 
victory. In 1799 Massena displayed great ability as commander-in-chief in Switzerland. 
After he had reconquered the Helvetian andRhsetian Alps, he was sent to Italy to check tlie 
victorious career of the Austrians. He hastened with the small force he could muster to the 
support of Genoa, the defence of which is among his most remarkable achievements. In 
1804 he was created marshal of the empire, and the year after, received the chief command 
in Italy, where he lost the battle of Caldiero. After the peace of Tilsit, war having broken 
out in Spain, Massena took the field with the title of Duke of Rivoli ; but in 1809 h« wm 
VOL. 111.— 4 C 


towards Mount Tanaro, and Bonaparte, with three brigades, marched to 
Oneglia, drove out an Austrian division, and entered the town. He found in 
Oneglia twelve pieces of cannon, and cleared the port of all the privateers 
which infested those parts. While Massena was ascending the Tanaro to 
Tanarello, Bonaparte continued his movement, and proceeded from Oneglia 
to Orraea in the valley of the Tanaro. He entered it on the 28th of Ger- 
minal (April 15), and there found some muskets, twenty pieces of cannon, 
and magazines full of cloth for the clothing of the troops. As soon as the 
French brigades had joined in the valley of the Tanaro, Uiey marched for the 
upper Roya, to execute the prescribed movement on the left of the Pied- 
montese. General Dumerbion attacked the Piedmontese positions in front, 
while Massena fell upon their flanks and their rear. After several very 
brisk actions, the Piedmontese abandoned Saorgio, and fell back on the Col 
di Tenda. They presenUy abandoned the Col di Tenda itself, and fled to 
liimona beyond the great chain. 

During these occurrences in the valley of the Roya, the valleys of the 
Tinea and the Vesubia were scoured by the left of the army of Italy, and 
soon afterwards the army of the high Alps, piqued with emulation, took by 
main force the St. Bernard and Mount Cenis. Thus, from the middle of 
Floreal (the beginning of May), we were victorious on the whole chain of 
tlie Alps, and occupied the whole tract from the first hills of -tht Apennines 
to Mont Blanc. Our right supported at Ormea, extended almost to the 
gates of Genoa, covered great part of the Riviera di Ponente, and thus pro- 
tected commerce from the piracies by which it had been previously annoyed. 
We had taken three or four thousand prisoners, fifty or sixty pieces of can- 
non, a great quantity of clothing, and two fortresses. Our commencement, 
therefore, was as fortunate at the Alps as at the Pyrenees, since on both 
points it gave us a frontier and part of the resources of the enemy. 

The campaign opened rather later on the great theatre of the war, that is. 
In the North. There, five hundred thousand men were coming into col- 
lision from the Vosges to the sea. The French still had tlieir principal 
force about Lille, Guise, and Maubeuge. Pichegru had become their 
general. Commanding the army of the Rhine in the preceding year, he had 

recalled to Germany. At Esslingen his firmness saved the French army from total destruc- 
Mon, and Napoleon rewarded him with the dignity of prince of that place. After the peace 
be hastened to Spain, but, being unsuccessful against Wellington, was recalled. In 1814 
Maeaena commanded at Toulon, declared for Louis XVIII. On the landing of Bonaparte 
in 1815, he joined him, was created a peer, and commander of the national guard at Paris. 
He Hvcd afterwards in retirement, and his death was hastened by chagrin at the conduct of 
die Royalists. He died in the year 1817." — Eneyclopadia Americana. E. 

" Maaaena, said Napoleon, was a man of superior talent He generally, however, made 
bed dispositions previously to a battle ; and it was not until the dead began to fall about him 
that he began to act with that judgment which he ought to have displayed before. In the 
midst of the dying and the dead, and of bolls sweeping away those who encircled him, 
Masaena was himself, and gaxe his orders and made his dispositions with the greatest sang- 
froid and judgment It was truly said of him, that he never began to act with dcill, antil 
the battle was going against him. He was, however, un tnlextr. He went halves with the 
contractors and commissaries of the army. I signified to him often that if he would discon- 
tinue his peculations, I would make him a present of eight hundred thousand, or a million, 
of francs; but he had acquired such a habit, that he could not keep his hands from money. 
On this account he was hatrd by the soldiers, who mutinied against him three or four times. 
However, considering the circumstances of the times, he was prrcious ; and had not his 
bright parts boen sullied by avarice, ho would have been a great man." — A Voice from St, 
Helena. E. 

' Maaaena was a very superior man, Imt, by a strange peculiarity of temperament, he 
1 (he deatred equilibrium only in the midst of the greatest daugera."— L<0 Ca$a. E. 


contrived to appropriate to himself tlie honour of raising the blockade of 
Landau, which belonged to young Hoche. He had wormed himself into 
the confidence of St. Just, while Hoche was thrown into prison, and had 
obtained the command of the army of the North. Jourdan, esteemed as a dis- 
creet general, had not been considered as sufficiently energetic to retain the 
cliief command of the North, and had succeeded Hoche at the army of the 
Moselle, as Micljaud had done Pichegru at that of the Rhine. Carnot 
still presided over the military operations and directed them from his, 
office. St. Just and Lebas had been sent to Guise, to rouse the energy of 
the army. 

The nature of the localities required a very simple plan of operations and 
one which was likely to have very speedy and very extensive results. It 
consisted in directing the great mass of the French forces upon the Meuse, 
towards Namur, and thus threatening the communications of the Austrians. 
There was the key of the theatre of the war, and there it always will be, 
while war shall be carried on in the Netherlands against Austrians coming 
from the Rhine. Any diversion made in Flanders would be an imprudence ; 
for, if the wing thrown into Flanders were strong enough to make head 
against the allies, it would only contribute to repel them in front without 
compromising their retreat ; and, if it were not considerable enough to obtain 
decisive results, the allies would only have occasion to let it advance into 
West Flanders, and might then inclose and drive it back to the sea. Piche- 
gru, with acquirements, intelligence, and abundance of resolution, but a very 
moderate military genius, formed a wrong notion of the position ; and Car- 
not, prepossessed witli his plan of the preceding year, persisted in attacking 
the enemy directly in the centre, and in harassing him on both his Avings. 
Of course the principal mass was to act from Guise upon the centres of the 
allies, while two strong divisions, the one operating upon the Lys the other 
upon the Sambre, were to make a double diversion. Such was the plan 
opposed to the offensive plan of Mack. 

Coburg was still commander-in-chief of the allies. The Emperor of Ger- 
many had gone in person to the Netherlands to excite his army, and above 
all to put an end by his presence to the dissensions which were every moment 
arising among the allied generals. Coburg collected a mass of about one 
hundred thousand men in the plains of the Cateau, to blockade Landrecies. 
This was the first act widi which the allies meant to commence, till they 
could obtain the march of the Prussians from the Moselle upon the Sambre. 

The movements began about the end of Germinal. The hostile mass, 
after repulsing the French divisions which had dispersed before it, established 
itself around Landrecies. The Duke of York was placed in observation 
near Cambray, and Coburg towards Guise. By the movement which the 
allies had just made, the French divisions of the centre, driven backward, 
were separated from the divisions of Maubeuge, which formed the right 
wing. On the 2d of Floreal (April 21), an attempt was made to rejoin these 
Maubeuge divisions. A sanguinary action was fought on the Helpe. Our 
columns, still too much divided, were repulsed at all points, and driven back 
to the positions from which they had started. 

A new but general attack on the centre and on both wings was resolved 
upon. Desjardins's division, which was towards Maubeuge, was to make a 
movement in order to join Charbonnier's division, which was coming from 
the Ardennes. Li the centre, seven columns were to act at once and con- 
centrically on the whole hostile mass grouped around Landrecies. Lastly, 


on the left, Souham and Moreau,* starting from Lille with tvi'o divisions, 
forming a total of fifty thousand men, were ordered to advance into Flanders 

• " Jean Victor Moreau, one of the oldest and most celebrated generals of the French 
republic, was bom in Bretagne in 1763. His father intended him for the law, but he fled 
from his studies, and enlisted in a regiment before he bad attained his eighteenth year. In 
1 789 he joined the army of the North, and subsequently favoured the Girondins, whose fall 
greatly affected him, and it was with much repugnance that he accepted the constitution of 
1793, when proposed to the army. In 1794 be was appointed general of division, and com- 
manded the right wing of Pichegru's array. He was soon after named commander-in-chief 
of the troops on tlie Rhine, and commenced that course of operations which terminated in the 
celebrated retreat from the extremity of Germany to the French frontier, in the face of a 
superior enemy, by which his skill as a consummate tactician was so much exalted. In 1798 
Moreau was sent to command the army in Italy, but, after some brilliant successes, was com- 
pelled to give way to the Russians under Suwarrow. After Napoleon's return from Egypt, 
Moreau was appointed to the command of the armies of the Danube and Rhine, and gained 
the decisive victory of Hohenlindcn. He was afterwards accused of participating in the con- 
spiracy of Pichegru and Georges, and sentenced to banishment, whereupon be went to 
America and lived in retirement till 1813, when he joined the allied armies, and was killed 
in the battle of Dresden which was fought in that year." — Encyclopaedia Americana. E. 

The following is a contemporary account of the death of this celebrated general, whose 
military fame once rivalled that of Bonaparte. It is extracted from a letter written by a 
British officer, and dated Tophtz, Sept. 4, 1813: "General Moreau died yesterday. He wa» 
in the act of giving some opinion on military matters, while passing with the Emperor of 
Russia behind a Prussian battery to which two French ones were answering, and Lord Catb- 
cart and Sir R. Wilson were listening to him, when a ball struck his thigh and almost carried 
his leg off, passed through his horse, and shattered his other leg to pieces. He gave a deep 
groan at first, but, immediately afler the first agony was over, he spoke with the utmost tran- 
quillity and called for a cigar. They bore him ofifthe field on a litter made of Cossacks' pikes, 
and carried him to a cottage at a short distance, which however was so much exposed to the 
fire, that they were obliged, after just binding up his wounds, to remove him further off to 
the emperor's quarters, where one leg was amputated, he smoking the whole time. When 
the surgeon informed him he must deprive him of the other leg, he observed, in the calmest 
manner, that had be known that before, he would have preferred dying. The litter on which 
they bad hitherto conveyed him, was covered with wet straw, and a cloak drenched with 
rain, which continued in torrents the whole day. He was brought however safely to Laun, 
where he seemed to be going on well, till a long conference which took place between him 
and three or four of the allied generals completely exhausted him. Soon after thb he became 
extremely sick, and died at six o'clock yesterday morning." E. 

" 'Moreau,' observed the Emperor, 'possesses many good qualities. His bravery is un- 
doubted, but he has more courage than energy ; he is indolent and effeminate. When with 
the army, he lived like a pacha ; he smoked, was almost constantly in bed, and gave himself 
tip to the pleasures of the table. His dispositions are naturally good ; but he is too lazy for 
study. He does not read, and since he has been tied to his wife's apron-strings, be is fit for 
nothing. He sees only with the eyes of his wife and her mother, who have had a hand ia 
all his plots against me ; and yet, strange to say, it was by my advice that be entered into 
this union. You must remember, Bourrienne, my observing to you more than two years 
ago, that Moreau would one day strike bis head against the gate of the Tuileries. Had he 
remained faithful to me, I would have conferred on him the title of First Marshal of the Em- 
pire.' " — Bourrienne. E. 

" I mentioned," says Barry O'Meara, " Moreau's famous retreat through Germany, and 
asked him if he had not displayed great miUtary talents in it ' That retreat,' replie<l Napo* 
leon, ' was the greatest blunder that ever .Moreau committed. The Directory were jealous 
of me, and wanted to divide, if possible, the military reputation ; and as they could not give 
Moreau credit for a victory, they did for a retreat, which they caused to be extolled in the 
highest terms, though even the Austrian generals condemned him for having performed it 
Moreau was an excellent general of division, but not fit to command a large army. Calm and 
cool in the field, he was more collected and better able to give orders in the heat of action, 
than to make dispositions prior to it His death was not a little curious. In the battle before 
Dresden, I ordered an atUck to be made upon the allies by both flanks of my army. While 
the manceuvrcs for this purpose were executing, at the distance of about a hundred yards I 
observed a group of persons on horseback. Concluding that they were watching my ma* 


and to take Menin and Courtrai before the face of Clairfayt. The left of the 
French army operated without impediment, for Prince Kaunitz, with the 
division which he had on the Sambre, could not prevent the junction of Char- 
bonnier and Desjardins. The columns of tlie centre broke up on the 7th of 
Floreal (April 2G), and marched from seven different points on the Austrian 
army. This system of simultaneous and disjointed attacks, which had suc- 
ceeded so ill with us last year, was not more successful on this occasion. 
These columns, too far apart, could not support each other, and gained no 
decisive advantage at any point. One of them, indeed, that of General 
Chappuis, was entirely defeated. This general, who had marched from 
Cambray, found himself opposed to the Duke of York, who, as we have 
stated, was covering Landrecies on that side. He scattered his troops on 
different points, and arrived before the intrenched positions of Trois-Ville 
with an inadequate force. Overwhelmed by the fire of the English, charged 
in flank by the cavalry, he was put to the rout, and his dispersed division 
returned pell-mell to Cambray. These checks were owing less to the troops 
than to the injudicious manner in which the operations were directed. Our 
young soldiers, staggered at times by a fire to which they were not yet ac- 
customed, were nevertheless easy to lead and to be carried to the attack, and 
they frequently displayed extraordinary ardour and enthusiasm. 

While the attempt on the centre had proved so unavailing, the diversion 
operating in Flanders against Clairfayt had completely succeeded. Souham 
and Moreau had started from Lille and proceeded to Menin and Courtray on 
the 7th of Floreal (April 26). It is well known that those two fortresses 
are situated, one beyond the Lys, the other on its banks. Moreau invested 
the first, Souham took the second. Clairfayt mistaken respecting the march 
of the French, sought them where they were not ; but, being soon apprized 
of the investment of Menin and the capture of Courtray, he endeavoured to 
make us fall back by threatening our communications with Lille. On the 
9th of Floreal (April 28), he accordingly advanced to Moucroen with eight- 
een thousand men, and imprudently exposed himself to the attack of fifty 
thousand French troops, who might have crushed him while falling back. 
Moreau and Souham, bringing up immediately a part of their forces towards 
their threatened communications, marched upon Moucroen and resolved to 
give battle to Clairfayt. He was intrenched in a position accessible only by 
five narrow defiles, defended by a formidable artillery. On the 10th of Flo- 
real (April 29), the attack was ordered. Our young soldiers, most of whom 
saw fire for the first time, at first gave way; but generals and officers braved 
all dangers to rally them : they succeeded, and the positions were carried. 
Clairfayt lost twelve hundred prisoners, eighty-four of whom were officers, 
thirty-three pieces of cannon, four pair of colours, and five hundred muskets. 
This was our first victory in the north, and it served in an extraordinary degree 
to heighten the courage of the army. Menin was taken immediately after- 
wards. A division of emigrants which was shut up in the place, escaped by 
gallantly cutting their way sword in hand. 

The success of the left and the reverse of the centre determined Pichegru 
and Carnot to abandon the centre entirely, and to act exclusively on the 
wings. Pichegru sent General Bonnaud with twenty thousand men to 
Sanghien, near Lille, to secure the communications of Moreau and Souham. 

noBUvres, I resolved to disturb tbem, and called out to a capuin of artillery, Throw a dozen 
bullelB at once into that group ; perhaps there are some little generals in iU It was dona 
instantly, and one of the balls mortally wounded Moreau. A moment before, the Emperor 
Alexander had been speaking to him.' " — A Voice from St. Helena. E. 



He left at Guise only twenty thousand men under General Ferrand, and 
detached the rest towards Maubeuge, to join Desjardins's and Charbonnier's 
divisions. These united forces made the right wing, destined to act upon 
the Sambre, amount to fifty-six thousand men. Camot, judging much more 
correctly than Pichegru of the state of affairs, gave an order which decided 
the issue of the campaign. Beginning to perceive that the point on which 
the allies might be struck to the greatest advantage was the Sambre and the 
Meuse, and tliat, if beaten on that line, they would be separated frotn their 
base, he ordered Jourdan to assemble fifteen thousand men from the army of 
the Rhine, to leave on tlie western slope of the Vosges as many troops as 
Were indispensable for covering that frontier, then to quit the Moselle with 
forty-five thousand men, and proceed by forced marches for the Sambre. 
Jourdan's army, united to that of Maubeuge, was to form a mass of ninety 
or one hundred thousand men, and to effect the defeat of the allies on the 
decisive point. This order, the most brilliant of tlie whole campaign, tliat 
to which all its results are to be attributed, was issued on the 11th o^Floreal 
(April 30), from the office of the committee of public welfare. 

Coburg had meanwhile taken Landrecies. Regarding the defeat of Claii^ 
fayt as less important than it really was, he detached the Duke of York 
towards Lamain, between Tournay and Lille. 

Clairfayt had proceeded into West Flanders, between the advanced left 
of the French and the sea : thus he was farther than ever from the grand 
army and from the succour which the Duke of York was bringing him. 
The French, en dchelon, at Lille, Menin, and Courtray, formed in advanced 
column in Flanders. Clairfayt, having arrived at Thielt, was between the 
sea and this column ; and the Duke of York, posted at Lamain, before Tour- 
nay, was between this column and the grand allied army. Clairfayt deter-* 
mined to make an attempt on Tournay, and attacked it on the 21st of Floreal 
(May 10). Souham was at this moment in rear of Courtray. He promptly 
made his dispositions, returned to Courtray to the succour of Vandamme, 
and, while preparing a sortie, he detached Macdonald* and Malbranck upon 
Menin, with orders to cross the Lys there and to turn Clairfayt. The action 
took place on the 22d (May 11). Clairfayt had made the best dispositions 
on the causeway of Bruges and in the suburbs ; but our young recruits 
boldly braved the fire from the houses and the batteries, and, after an obsti- 
nate conflict, obliged Clairfayt to retire. Four thousand men belonging to 

* " Marshal Macdonald is the son of a Highland gentleman of the Clanronald sept, who 
was among the first to join the Pretender in 1745, and, after the battle of CuUoden, escaped 
to France, where he settled. His son was bom in 1765, and entered as lieutenant into the 
Irish regiment of Dillon. On the breaking out of the Revolution, he embraced its principles, 
but with moderation. At the battle of Jemappcs he behaved with great gallantry, and led the 
van of the army of the North as general of brigade. On the 18th Brumaire be took part 
with Bonaparte, but his favour with the First Consul ceased in 1803, and he remaineti in 
obscurity till the year 1809, when he was offered a command in the army, and at the battle 
of Wagram exhibited such skill and intrepidity that the emperor created him a marshal on 
the field, and said to him, ' Henceforth, Macdonald, let us be friends.' In Spain and Russia, 
the marshal (now created Duke of Tarentum) equalled the best of Napoleon's generals. He 
was also at Lutzen and Bautzen, and rendered signal services at Ldpsic. Macdonald faith- 
fully adhered to the Emperor until his abdication at Fontaineblrau. The new government 
made him a peer of France, and loaded him with honours. On the return of Bonaparte 
from Elba, Macdonald endeavoured to make head against him, but in vain : and accordingly 
be accompanied Louis to the frontiers of tlic kingdom. The marshal is still Uving, and inha- 
bits in Paris the splendid hotel of the Legion of Honour. He has daughters, but no son to 
mherit his title." — Cottrl and Camp of Bonaparte. £. 


both sides covered the field of battle ; and if, instead of turning tlie enemy 
on the side next to Menin, he had been turned on the opposite side, his retreat 
upon Flanders might have been cut off. 

This was the second time that Clairfayt had been beaten by our victorious 
left wing. Our right wing, on the Sambre, was not so fortunate. Com- 
manded by several generals, who held a council of war with St. Just and 
Lebas, the representatives, it was not so judiciously directed as the two divi- 
sions under Souham and Moreau. Kleber and Marceau, who had been 
removed to it from La Vendee, were capable of conducting it to a victory, 
but their opinions were not attended to. The movement prescribed to this 
right wing was to pass the Sambre and to march upon Mons. A first-passage 
was attempted on the 20th of Floreal (May 9), but, the necessary disposi- 
tions not having been made on the other bank, the army could not maintain 
itself there, and was obliged to recross the Sambre in disorder. On the 
22d, St. Just resolved to make a second attempt notwithstanding the failure 
of the first. It would have been much better to await the arrival of Jourdan, 
who with his forty-five thousand men, must have rendered the success of the 
right Aving infallible. But St. Just would not admit of hesitation or delay ; 
and the generals were forced to obey this terrible proconsul. The new pas- 
sage was not more lucky than the first. The French army crossed the 
Sambre a second time ; but, again attacked on the other bank, before it was 
firmly established there, it would have been undone but for the intrepidity of 
Marceau and the firmness of Kleber. 

Thus for a month past the contending parties had been fighting from Mau- 

beuge to the sea with incredible obstinacy and without any decisive results. 

Successful on the left, we were foiled on the right ; but our troops acquired 

'discipline, and the bold and skilful movement prescribed to Jourdan led the 

• way to important results. 

Mack's plan had become impracticable. The Prussian General MoUen- 
dorff refused to march to the Sambre, observing that he had no orders to 
that effect from his court. The English negotiators had been demanding 
explanations of the Prussian cabinet relative to the treaty of the Hague, and 
meanwhile Coburg, threatened on one of his wings, had been obliged to dis- 
solve his centre after the example of Pichegni. He had reinforced Kau- 
nitz towards the Sambre, and moved the main body of his army towards 
Flanders, to the environs of Tournay. A decisive action was, therefore, 
about to take place on the left, for the moment was at hand when mighty 
masses must come into collision and fight one another. 

A plan, called the plan of destruction, was at this moment conceived at 
the Austrian head-quarters. Its object was to separate the French army from 
Lille, to surround and to annihilate it. Such an operation was possible, for 
the allies could bring nearly one hundred thousand men into action against 
seventy thousand ; but they made singular dispositions for attaining this ob- 
ject. The French were still distributed in the following manner : Souham 
and Moreau at Menin and Courtray with fifty thousand men, and Bonnaud 
in the environs of Lille with twenty thousand. The allies were still divided 
upon the two flanks of this advanced line ; Clairfayt's division on the left in 
West Flanders, and the mass of the allies on the right towards Tournay. 
The allies resolved to make a concentric effort on Turcoing, which separates 
Menin and Courtray from Lille. Clairfayt was to march thither from West 
Flanders, passing through Werwick and Lincelles. Generals de Busch, Otto, 
and the Duke of York, were ordered to march upon the same point from the 
opposite side, that is from Tournay. De Busch was to proceed to Moucroen, 


Otto to Turcoing itself, and the Duke of York, advancing to Roubaix and 
Mouvaux, was to form a junction with Clairfayt. By this latter junction, 
Souham and Moreau would be cut off from Lille. General Kinsky and the 
Archduke Charles, with two strong columns, were directed to drive Bonnaud 
back into Lille. These dispositions, in order to succeed, would have required 
a oombination of movements which was impossible. Most of these corps 
were to start from extremely distant points, and Clairfayt had to march 
through the French army. 

These movements were to be executed on the 20th of Floreal (May 17j. 
Pichegru had gone at that moment to the left wing of the Sambre, to repair 
the checks which that wing had experienced. Souham and Moreau di- 
rected the army in the absence of Pichegru. The first intimation of the 
designs of the allies was given them by the march of Clairfayt upon Wer- 
wick. They instantly moved towards that quarter ; but, on learning that 
the main army of the enemy was approaching on the opposite side and 
threatening their communications, they formed a prompt and judicious reso- 
lution, namely, to make an attempt on Turcoing, with a view to possess 
themselves of this decisive position between Menin and Lille. Moreau 
remained with Vandamme's division before Clairfayt, in order to retard his 
march, and Souham marched upon Turcoing with forty-five thousand men. 
The communications with Lille were not yet interrupted ; the French general 
could therefore send orders to Bonnaud to advance on his side to Turcoing, 
and to make a powerful effort to maintain the communication between that 
position and Lille. 

The dispositions of the French generals were attended with complete 
success. Clairfayt could advance but slowly; retarded at Werwick, he 
could not reach Lincelles on the prescribed day. General de Busch had at 
first possessed himself of Moucroen, but had afterwards received a slight 
check, and Otto, having divided his troops to succour him, had not left a 
suflicient force at Turcoing ; lastly, the Duke of York had advanced to Rou- 
baix and Mouvaux, without seeing anything of Clairfayt or being able to 
connect himself with him. Kinsky and the Archduke Charles had not 
arrived near Lille till late on the day of the 28th (May 17). Next morning 
the 29th (May 18), Souham marched briskly upon Turcoing, defeating all 
that came in his way, and made himself master of that important position. 
Bonnaud, on his part, marching from Lille upon the Duke of York, who 
was to interpose between Turcoing and Lille, found him spread out upon 
an extended line. The English, though taken unawares, attempted to re- 
sist, but our young recruits, marching with ardour, obliged them to give way, 
and, throwing away their arms, to betake themselves to flight. The rout 
was such that the Duke of York, riding off at full gallop, owed his escape 
solely to the swiftness of his horse. From that moment the confusion 
among the allies became general, and from the heights of Templeuve the 
Emperor of Austria witnessed the flight of his whole army. Meanwhile 
the Archduke Charles, ill supplied with intelligence and ill placed, was in- 
active below Lille, and Clairfayt, stopped towards the Lys, was compelled 
to retreat.* Such was the issue of this plan of destruction. It gave us 

* " So sudden was the rout, that the Duke of York himself owed hia safety to the flectoe« 
of his horse, a circumstance which he had the candour to admit in his official dospatefa. 
Such was the defect of the combinations of Prince Coburg, that, at the time when his cen- 
tral columns were overwhelmed, the two columns on the left, amounting to not less than 
thirty thousand men, under the Archduke Charles and Kinsky, remained in a state of 
absolute inaction ; and Clairfayt, who came up too Ute to take any active part in the en- 


several thousand prisoners, a great quantity of maUriel, and the glory of a 
great victory, gained with seventy thousand men over nearly one hundred 

Pichegru arrived wlien the battle was won. All the allied corps fell back 
upon Tournay, and Clairfayt, returning to Flanders, resumed his position at 
Thielt. Pichegru did not make the best use of this important victory. The 
allies were grouped near Tournay, having their right supported on the Scheldt. 
The French general resolved to intercept a quantity of forage coming up the 
Scheldt for them, and made his whole army fight for this puerile object. 
Approaching the Scheldt, he closely pressed the allies in their semicircular 
position'of Tournay. Presently, all his corps were successively engaged on 
this semicircle. The action was hottest at Pont-a-Chin, along the Scheldt. 
For twelve hours there was a most frightful carnage, and without any possible 
result. From seven to eight tliousand men perished on both sides. The 
FVench army fell back, after burning some boats, and losing in part that supe- 
riority which the battle of Turcoing had gained it.* 

We might, nevertheless, consider ourselves as victorious in Flanders, and 
the necessity to which Coburg was reduced of sending succours elsewhere 
soon rendered our superiority there more decided. On the Sambre, St. Just 
had determined to effect a third passage, and to invest Charleroi; but Kau- 
nitz, being reinforced, had caused the siege to be raised at the moment when, 
fortunately, Jourdan arrived with the whole army of the Moselle. From 
that moment, ninety thousand men were about to act on the real line of ope-, 
rations, and to put an end to the fluctuations of victory. On the Rhine no^ 
thing of importance had occurred; General Mollendorff, profiting by the 
diminution of our forces on that point, had merely taken from us the post of 
Kaiserslautern, but had returned to his former inactivity immediately after 
this advantage. Thus from the month of Prairial (the end of May^, and 
along the whole line of the north, we had not only withstood the coalition, 
but triumphed in several actions. We had gained one great victory, and we 
were advancing on the two wings into Flanders and on the Sambre. The 
loss of Landrecies was nothing compared with such advantages and with 
those which our present situation assured to us. 

The war of La Vendee was not entirely finished by the rout of Savenay. 
Three chiefs had escaped, Laroche-Jacquelein, Stofflet and Marigny. Be- 
sides these three chiefs, Charette, who, instead of crossing the Loire, had 
taken the island of Noirmoutier, remained in Lower Vendee. This war was, 
however, confined to mere skirmishes, and was not of a nature to give the 
republic any uneasiness. General Turreau had been appointed to the com- 
mand of the West. He had divided the disposable army into movieable 
columns, which scoured the country, directing their course concentrically 
to one and the same point. They fought the fugitive bands when they fell 
in with them, and when they had not to fight, they executed the decree of 
the Convention. They burned the forests and the villages, and carried away 
the inhabitants, and removed them to other situations. Several actions had 

gagement, was obliged to retire. In this action, where the allies lost three thousand men and 
sixty pieces of cannon, the superiority of the French generalship was very apparent." — 
Alison. E. 

• "The Emperor Francis of Austria was on horseback for twelve hours during this san- 
guinary battle, constantly traversing the ranks, and exhorting his troops to keep up their 
spirits. — ' Courage, my friends,' said he, when they appeared about to droop and give way, 
' let us make but a few more efforts, and the day is our own.' " — Mer.wira of Prince Hard- 
enberg. E. 

VOL. III. — 5 


taken place, but they had not been productive of any great results. Haxo, 
after retaking the isles of Noirmoutier and Bouin from Charette, had several 
times hoped to take him, too ; but this daring partisan had always escaped, 
and appeared again soon after the combat with a perseverance not less ad- 
mirable than his address. This unhappy war was thenceforward only a 
war of devastation. General Turreau* had been constrained to adopt a cruel 
measure, namely, to order the inhabitants of the villages to quit the country, 
upon pain of being treated as enemies if they remained in it. This measure 
compelled them either to quit the soil on which they had all the means of 
existence, or to submit to military executions.! Such are the inevitable 
miseries of civil wars. 

Bretagne had become the theatre of a new kind of war, that of the Chou- 
ans.J That province had already shown some disposition to imitate La 
Vendee, but, as the propensity to insurrection was not so general, some in- 
dividuals only, taking advantage of the natiire of particular situations, had 
engaged in separate acts of robbery and plunder. The wrecks of the Ven- 
dean column, which had proceeded into Bretagne, had soon afterwards in- 
creased the number of these partisans. They had formed their principal 
establishment in the forest of Perche, and scoured the country in bands of 
forty or fifty, sometimes attacking the gendarmerie, levying contributions on 
small communes, and committing these disorders in the name of the royal 
and Catholic cause. But the real war was over, and no more could now be 
done than deplore the particular calamities by which these wretched pro- 
vinces were afflicted. 

In the colonies and at sea, the war was not less active than on the conti- 
nent. The wealthy settlement of St. Domingo had been the theatre of the 
greatest horrors recorded in history. The white population had embraced 

• " General Turreau was the faithful servant of the Convention in its bloodiest days, 
and the faithful servant of Bonaparte after his return from Elba. He bated the old govern- 
ment and he hoted the Bourbons, whatever government they might establish. He was a 
man capable of forming military arrangements, and merciless enough to act upon any system 
however barbarous." — Quarterly Review. E. 

■|- " The poor Vendean royalists were now reduce<l frequently to live on alms, and forced 
every two or three days to shift their quarters in the middle of the night, from one wretched 
cabin to another. Such was the vindictive rigour of the republican party, that the most un- 
relaxing search was made for fugitives of all descriptions; and every adherent of the insur- 
gent faction who fell into their hands was barbarously murderrd, without the least regard to 
age, sex, or individual innocence. While skulking atx)ut in this state of peril, they had oc- 
casional rencounters with some of their former companions whom similar misfortunes had 
driven upon similar schemes of concealment. In particular, a party of Vendean fugitives 
twice saw the daring Marigny, who had wandered over the whole country, and, notwith- 
standing his gigantic form and remarkable features, had contrived so to disguise himself, as 
to avoid all detection. He could counterfeit all ages and dialects, and speak in the paiois of 
every village. He appeared before them in the character of an itinerant dealer of poultry, 
and retired unsuspected by all but one or two of bis old companions in arms." — Edinburck 
Review. E. 

t " The Chouans wer« four brothers, who were originally smugglers, and named Cottc- 
reau, that of Chouan, which was given them, being merely a corruption of chat-huant 
(screech-owl), l)ecause they imitated its cry in order to recognise each other in the woods at 
night. In 1793 they collected troops near Laval, which took their name, and soon afterwanis, 
being reinforced by some remains of the Vendean army, they made war untler the command 
of the Count de Puisayc, in the name of Louis XVIII. 'i'hree of the four brothers fell in 
battle, one of whom was John, celebrated for his courage and physical strength. The Chou- 
ans, after the total defeat of La Vendue, made peace with the Directory : but, aliout the end 
of 1799, revived with more energy than ever. ScaUercd through the country, and almost 
always invisible, they attacked the patriot posts, but disappeared before considerable bodies of 
men. Bonaparte put them dowa efiectually in the year 1800." — Biographie Moderne, E. 


with enthusiasm the cause of the Revolution, which they thought must lead 
to their independence of the motlier country. The mulattoes had embraced 
it not less cordially, but they hoped for something more than the political 
independence of the colony, and aspired to the rights of citizenship, which 
had always been refused them. The Constituent Assembly had recognised 
the rights of the mulattoes ; but the whites, who wanted to keep the Revolu- 
tion to themselves, had then revolted, and a civil war had commenced be- 
tween the old race of freemen, and those who had been just enfranchised. 

Taking advantage of this war, the blacks had appeared upon the stage, 
and fire and blood proclaimed their presence. They murdered their masters, 
and burned their property.* From this moment the colony became the the- 
atre of the most horrible confusion. Each party reproached the other with 
»the new enemy that had just started up, and accused its adversary of having 
supplied him with arms. The negroes, without yet siding with either, 
ravaged the country. Excited, however, by the emissaries of the Spanish 
party, it was not long before they pretended to espouse the royal cause. To 
add to the confusion, the English had interfered. One part of the whites 
had applied to tliem in a moment of danger, and had delivered to them the 
very important fort of St. Nicholas. Santhonax,t the commissioner, assisted 
principally by the mulattoes and part of the whites, had opposed the invasion 
of the English, which he could at last find but one expedient for repelling, 
and that was, to recognise the freedom of the blacks who should declare 
liiemselves in favour of the republic. The Convention had confirmed this 
measure, and, by a decree, proclaimed all the negroes free. From that mo- 

• " At midnight, on the 30th of October, 1791, the insurrection of the blacks of St. Domingo 
broke forth. In an instant twelve hundred cofiee and two hundred sugar plantations were in 
flames ; the buildings, the machinery, the farm-houses, were reduced to ashes ; and the un- 
fortunate proprietors were hunted down, murdered, or thrown into the flames, by the infuri- 
ated negroes. The horrors of a servile war universally appeared. The unchained African 
signalized his ingenuity by the discovery of new and unheard-of modes of torture. An un- 
happy planter was sawed asunder between two boards. The horrors inflicted on the women 
exceeded anything known, even in the annals of Christian ferocity. The indulgent master 
was sacrificed equally with the inhuman. On all alike, young and old, rich and poor, the 
wrongs of an oppressed race were indiscriminately wreaked. Crowds of slaves traversed the 
country with the heads of white children aflixed on their pikes. These served as the stand- 
ards of the furious insurgents. Jean Francois, a slave of vast penetration, firm character, 
and violent passions, not unmingled with generosity, was the leader of the conspiracy. His 
lieutenants were Biasson and Toussaint. The former, of gigantic stature and indomitable 
ferocity, was well fitted to assert his superiority ; the latter, gifted with rare intelligence, dis- 
simulation, boundless ambition, and heroic firmness, was fitted to become at once the Numa 
and the Romulus of the sable republic in the western hemisphere. The republican commis- 
sioners sent out by the Convention contrived for a time partly to quell the insurrection, but, 
in 1793, it broke out with redoubled fury. Three thousand insurgents penetrated into Cape 
Town, and, making straight for the prisons, delivered a large body of slaves who were there 
in chains. Instantly the liberated captives spread themselves over the country, set it on fire 
in every quarter, and massacred the whites. A scene of matchless horror ensued. Twenty 
thousand negroes burst into the city, with the torch in one hand and the sword in the other. 
Neither age nor sex was spared. The young were cut down in striving to defend their 
houses ; the aged in the churches, where they had fled for protection. Virgins were immo- 
lated on the altar ; infants hurled into the fires. The finest city in the West Indies was re- 
duced to ashes. Its splendid churches, its stately palaces, were wrapt in flames, and thirty 
tbou^nd human beings perished in the massacre." — Alison. E. 

t " L. F. Santhonax, deputy from Ain, was successively delegated to St. Domingo by the 
constitutional King, by the Convention, and by the Directory. His administration waa 
tyrannical and ineffective, and he was frequently denounced to the government in Paris. 
On his final recall in 1797, he was admitted into the council of Five Hundred; and in ttM 
year 1805 was living in retirement at Fontainebleau." — Biographic Modenie, E. 


ment, a portion of them, who had espoused the royal cause, had gone over 
to the party of the republicans ; and the English, intrenched in Fort St. 
Nicholas, had no longer any hopes of securing that rich settlement, which, 
after being long ravaged, was destined at last to become independent of any 
foreign power. Guadaloupe had been taken and retaken, and still continued 
in our possession. Martinique was definitively lost. 

Such were the disorders in the colonies. At sea, an important event had 
occurred, namely, the arrival of that convoy from America, so impatiently 
expected in our ports. The Brest squadron had left that port, as we have 
stated, to the number of thirty sail, with orders to cruise and not to fight, 
unless the safety of the convoy imperatively required it. We have already 
said that Jean-Bon-St.-Andre was on board the admiral's ship; that Villaret- 
Joyeuse had been promoted from captain to commander of the squadron; 
that peasants who had never been at sea had been placed among the crews ; 
and that these sailors, officers, and admirals of a day, were sent forth to fight 
the veteran English navy. Admiral Villaret-Joyeuse weighed on tlie Ist of 
Prairial (May 20), and made sail for the isles of Coves and Flores, to wait 
for the convoy. He took by the way a great number of English merchant- 
men, the captains of which said to him, " You are taking us retail, but Lord 
Howe will soon take you wholesale." That admiral was actually cruising 
off the coasts of Bretagne and Normandy with thirty-three sail of the lino 
and twelve frigates. On the 9th of Prairial (May 28), the French squadron 
descried a fleet. The impatient crews watched those black specks on the 
horizon growing gpradually larger and larger; and, when they ascertained 
them to be the English, they set up shouts of enthusiasm, and insisted on 
fighting, with that ardent patriotism which has always distinguished the in- 
habitants of our coasts. Though the instractions given to the admiral for- 
bade him to fight unless to save the convoy, yet Jean-Bon-St.-Andre, himself 
hurried away by the universal enthusiasm, assented to the general wish, and 
caused orders to be issued to prepare for action. Towards evening, a ship 
of the rear-division, Le Revolutionnaire, which had shortened sail, was 
brought to action by the English, made an obstinate resistance, lost her cap- 
lain, and was obliged to steer for Rochefort to refit. Night prevented the 
action from becoming general. 

Next day, the 10th (May 29), the two squadrons were opposite to one 
another. The English admiral manoeuvred against our rear. The move- 
ment which we made to protect it brought on an action between the two 
fleets. The French not manceuvring so well, two of their ships, L'lndorap- 
table and Le Tyrannicide, found themselves opposed to a very superior 
force, and fought with determined courage. Villaret-Joyeuse ordered some 
of his squadron to go lo the relief of the ships engaged ; but his orders being 
neither clearly understood nor duly executed, he advanced alone, at the risk 
of not being followed. This was done, however, soon afterwards : our 
whole squadron bore down upon that of the enemy, and obliged it to sheer 
off. Unfortunately, we had lost the advantage of the wind. We kept up a 
terrible fire on the English btit were unable to pursue them. We retained 
our two ships and the field of battle. 

On the 11th and 12th (May 30 and 31V a thick fog enveloped the two 
fleets. The French endeavoured to lead tne English to the north and to -the 
west of the ttack which the convoy was to pursue. On the l-^di, the fog 
dispersed, and the sun shone brightly upon both squadrons. The French 
had no more than twenty-six sail, while dieir adversaries had thirty-six. 
They again insisted on fighting, and it was agreed to indulge their ardour. 



for the purpose of occupying the English and keeping them aloof from the 
track of the convoy, wliich was to pass over the field of battle of the 10th. 

This action, one of the most memorable that Ocean ever witnessed, began 
about nine in the morning. Lord Howe bore down to cut our line.* A false 
mancBUvre of our ship, La Montague, allowed him to accomplish his pur- 
pose, to cut off our left wing, and to attack it with all his force. Our right 
and our van were left separated. The admiral would have rallied them 
around him, with the intention of bearing down upon the English squadron, 
but he had lost the advantage of the wind, and it was five hours before he 
was able to approach the field of battle. Meanwhile the ships engaged 
fought with extraordinary heroism. The English, superior in manffiuvring, 
lost their advantages ship to ship, and had to encounter a tremendous fire 
and formidable boardings. It was in the heat of this obstinate action that 
Le Vengeur, dismasted, half destroyed, and ready to founder, refused to 
strike her colours, at the peril of being sent to the bottom.t The English 
first ceased firing, and retired in astonishment at such a resistance. They 
had taken six of our ships. Next day, Villaret-Joyeuse, having collected 
his van and his right, was for bearing down and wresting from them their 
prey. The English, who had sustained great damage, would perhaps have 
yielded the victory to us. Jean-Bon-St.-Andre opposed a new engagement, 
notwithstanding the enthusiasm of the crews. The English could therefore 
regain tlieir ports unmolested. They returned to them, astounded at their 
victory and filled with admiration of the intrepidity of our youug seamen. 
But the essential object of this terrible conflict was accomplished. Admiral 
Venstabel had on that same day, the 13th, sailed over the field of battle of 
the 10th, which he found covered with wrecks, and had entered without ac- 
cident the ports of France. 

Thus victorious at the PjT^nees and the Alps, formidable in the Nether- 
lands, heroic at sea, and strong enough to dispute a naval victory most ob- 
stinately witli the English, we commenced the year 1794 in the most bril- 
liant and glorious manner. 

* " Lord Howe signalled that he should attack the centre of the enemy, consisting of 
tweDty.«ix sail of the line, and that he should pass through the enemy's line and engage to 
leeward. The two fleets being now about four miles apart, and the crews of the British 
ships, aAer the fatigue of sitting up three nights, needing some refreshments, Lord Howe 
hove to, and gave the men their breakfasts. This over, the British filled, and bore down on 
the enemy. In a few minutes after a signal was thrown out for each ship to steer for, and 
independently engage, the ship opposed to her in the enemy's line. The French fleet was 
drawn up in a close head-and-stem line, bearing about east and west. Between a quarter 
and half-past 9 a. m. the French van opened its fire on the Britiish van. In about a quarter 
of an hour the fire of the enemy became general, and Lord Howe, with his divisional flag- 
officers, bearing the signal for close action at their mast-heads, commenced a heavy fire in 
return. A few of the English ships cut through the French line, and engaged their oppo- 
nents to leeward ; the remainder hauled up to windward, and opened their fire, some at a 
long and others at a shorter distance. At 10 a. m. when the action was at its height, the 
French admiral made sail ahead, followed by his second astern, and afterwards by such other 
of hi« ships as had suf&red little in their rigging and sails. At about 11 a.m. the heat of the 
action was over, and the British were left with eleven, and the French with twelve, more or 
less dismasted ships. At about one o'clock the general firing ceased, the enemy's vessels, for 
the most part, striving to escape under a spritsail, or some small sail set on the tallest stump 
left to them. When the action commenced, the French fleet was, within one ship, numeri- 
cally equal to the British fleet opposed to it." — Jamui's Naval History. E. 

-f " The heroism of the crew of the Vengeur is worthy of eternal remembrance. Though 
sinking rapidly in the water, and after the lower-deck guns were immersed, they continued 
vebenieiitly to discharge the upper tier ; and at length, when the ship went to the bottom, 
the crew continued to cheer, and the cries, ' Vive la Republique,' ' Vive la France,' were 
heard as she was swallowed up in the waves!" — Aliton. E. 





While the republic was victorious against its foreign foes, its internal 
state had not ceased to be greatly agitated. The evils by which it was 
afflicted were still the same. These were the assignats, the maximum, the 
scarcity of articles of subsistence, the law regarding suspected persons, and 
the revolutionary tribunals. 

The embarrassments resulting from the necessity for regulating all the 
movements of commerce had only increased. The Convention had been 
obliged constantly to modify the law of the maximum. It had found it ne- 
cessary to except from it, at one time, spun thread, and to grant it ten per 
cent, above the tariff: at another, pins, linen, cambrics, muslins, gauzes, 
laces of thread and silk, silks, and silken goods. But while the legislature 
was forced to except a great number of commodities from the maximum, 
there were others which it was expedient to subject to its provisions. Thus, 
the price of horses having become excessive, it could not avoid determining 
their value according to height and quality. From these means the same 
inconvenience invariably resulted. Commerce stood still and closed its 
markets, or opened clandestine ones ; and in this case authority became 
powerless. If by means of the assignats it had been enabled to realize the 
value of the national domains, if by the maximum it had been enabled to 
place assignats on a par with merchandise, there was no way of preventing 
merchandise from withdrawing and concealing itself from purchasers. Thus 
there was no end to the complaints raised against tradesmen who retired frdta 
business or shut up their shops. 

Less uneasiness, however, was this year felt on account of articles of con- 
sumption. The convoys arrived from America, and an abundant harvest 
had furnished a sufficient quantity of com for the consumption of France. 
The committee, displaying the same vigour in all matters of administration, 
had ordered a general statement of the crops to be drawn up by the commis- 
sion of provisions, and part of the grain to be thrashed immediately for the 
supply of the markets. It had been feared that the itinerant reapers who 
leave their homes and go to the corn countries would demand extraordinary 
wages ; the committee, therefore, declared that persons of both sexes, whc 
were accustomed to do harvest work, were in forced requisition, and that 
their wages should be determined by the local authorities. It was not lon|{ 



before, ihe journeymen butchers and bakers having struck, the committee 
adopted a more general measure, and put in requisition workmen of all kinds, 
who were employed in the manipulation, the transport, and tlie sale of arti- 
cles of the first necessity. * 

The supply of meat was a business of much greater difficulty, and caused 
much greater uneasiness. In Paris especially it was scarce ; and, from the 
moment when the Hebertists attempted to make this scarcity a pretext for 
exciting commotion, the evil had only increased. It had been found neces- 
sary to put the city of Paris upon an allowance of meat. The commission 
of provisions had fixed the daily consumption at seventy-five oxen, fifteen 
thousand pounds weight of veal and mutton, and two hundred hogs. It 
procured the requisite cattle and sent them to the Hospice de 1' Humanity, 
which was appointed as the common and only authorized slaughter-house. 
The butchers named by each section came there, and took away the meat 
which was destined for them, and received a quantity proportioned ' to the 
population which they iTad to supply. Every five days they were to dis- 
tribute to each family lialf a pound of meat per head. In this instance 
recourse was had to tickets, such as were delivered by the revolutionary 
committees for the distribution of bread, stating the number of individuals 
of which each family was composed. To prevent tumults and long waiting, 
people were forbidden to go before six in the morning to the doors of the 

The insufficiency of these regulations soon became apparent. Clandestine 
dealers had already set up, as we have elsewhere observed. Their number 
daily increased. The cattle had not time to reach the markets of Neuborg, 
Poissy, and Sceaux ; the country butchers met them and bought them in the 
pastures. Taking advantage of the less vigilant execution of the laws in the 
rural communes, these butchers sold above the maximum, and supplied all 
the inhabitants of the great communes and particularly those of Paris, who 
were not content with the allowance of half-a-pound every five days. In this 
manner the country butchers had run away with all the business of the town 
butchers, who had scarcely any thing to do since they were confined to the 
distribution of rations. Several of them even applied for a law authorizing 
them to throw up the leases of their shops. It then became necessary to 
make new regulations to prevent the stoppage of cattle on their way to the 
markets ; and the proprietors of pasture-grounds were subjected to declara- 
tions and to extremely annoying formalities. The government was obliged 
to descend to still more minute details. As wood and charcoal ceased to 
arrive on account of the maximum, and suspicions of forestalling were 
excited, it was forbidden to have more than four loads of wood and more 
than two loads of charcoal. 

The new government exerted itself with singular activity to surmount all 
the difficulties of the career upon which it had entered. While it was issuing 
these numberless regulations, it was engaged in reforming agriculture, 
changing the legislation of farming, for tlie purpose of dividing Uie tillage 
of lands, introducing new rotations of crops, artificial meadows, and the 
rearing of cattle. It ordered the institution of botanic gardens in all the 
chief towns of departments, for naturalizing exotic plants, forming nurseries 
of trees of all kinds, and opening courses of lectures on agriculture for the 
instruction, and adapted to the comprehension, of farmers. It ordered the 
general draining of marshes, on a comprehensive and well-conceived plan. 
It decreed that the state should make the necessary advances for this great 
undertaking, and that the owners whose lands should be drained and rendered 


wholesome should pay a tax or sell their lands at a certain price. Lastly, it 
invited all the architects to furnish plans for rebuilding the villages on de- 
molishing the mansions ; it ordered embellishments to render the garden of 
the Tuilcries more commodious for the public : and it demanded plans from 
artists for changing the Opera-house into a covered arena where the people 
might assemble in winter. 

Thus it executed, or at least attempted, almost everything at once; so true 
it is that the more business one has to do, the more one is capable of doing. 
The department of \he finances was not the least diflicult nor the least per- 
plexing. We have seen what resources were devised in the month of 
August, 1793, to restore the assignats to their nominal vidue, by withdrawing 
part of them from circulation. The one thousand millions willidrawn by 
the forced loan, and the victories which terminated the campaign of 1793, 
raised them, and, as we have elsewhere stated, they rose almost to par, 
owing to the terrible laws which rendered the possession of specie so dan- 
gerous. Tliis apparent prosperity lasted, howevfi', only for a short time. 
They soon fell again, and the quantity of issues rapidly depreciated them. 
Part of them, indeed, returned in consequence of the sales of the national 
property, but this return was insufficient. These possessions were sold 
above tlie estimate, which was not surprising, for die estimate had been 
made in money, and payment was made in assignats. Thus the price, 
though apparently above, was really much below, the estimated value. Be- 
sides, this absorption of the assignats could be but slow, while tlie issue was 
necessarily immense and rapid. Twelve hundred tliousand men to arm and 
to pay, a materiel to create, a navy to build, with a depreciated paper, 
required enormous quantities of that paper. This resource having become 
the only one, and, moreover, the capital of the assignats increasing daily by 
confiscations, the government made up its mind to employ them so long as 
occasion required. It abolished the distinction between the ordinary and 
the extraordinary fund, the one arising from the produce of tlie taxes, the 
other from the creation of assignats. The two kinds of resources were 
blended, and, whenever occasion required, any deficit in the revenue was 
supplied by fresh issues. At the beginning of 1794 (year II) the sum total 
of the issues was doubled. Nearly four thousand millions had been added 
to the sum which previously existed, and had raised it to about eight thou- 
sand millions. Deducting the sums which had come back and been burned, 
and those which had not yet been expended, there remained in actual circu- 
lation five thousand five hundred and thirty -six millions. In Messidor (year 
II, June, 1794) the creation of a fresh thousand million of assignats was 
decreed, of all amounts, from one thousand francs to fifteen sous. The com- 
mittee of finances again had recourse to a forced loan from the rich. The 
lists of the preceding year were made use of, and upon those who were 
entered in those lists was imposed an extraordinary war contribution of one- 
tenth of the forced loan, tliat is to say, of ten millions. This sum M'as not 
levied upon them as a loan repayable, but as a tax which was to be paid by 
them without return. 

To complete the establishment of the great book, and the plan of giving 
uniformity to the public debt, it still remained to capifalise the life annuities, 
and to convert them into an inscription. These annuities, of all descriptions 
and of all forms, were the object of the most complicated stockjobbing. 
They had the same inconvenience as the old contracts on the state, that of 
reposing on a royal tide, and obtaining a marked preference to republican 
stocks ; |br people were still sure that, if the republic consented to pay the 


debts of the monarchy, tlie monarchy would never consent to pay those of 
tlie republic. Cambon, therefore, completed his grand work of the regene- 
ration of the debt, by proposing and obtaining a law which capitalised the 
life annuities ; the titles were to be delivered up by the notaries and burned, 
as tlie contracts had been. The capital originally furnished by the annuitant 
was converted into an inscription, and bore a perpetual interest at five per 
cent., instead of a life revenue. At the same time, out of consideration for 
aged persons and those of very small fortune, who had meant to double their 
resources by investing them in annuities for life, those of moderate amounts 
"were preserved and proportioned tt) the age of the parties. From forty to 
fifty, all annuities of fifteen hundred to two thousand francs were suffered to 
exist ; from fifty to sixty, all annuities of three to four thousand ; and so on 
to the age of one hundred, and to the sum of ten tliousand five hundred 
francs. If the annuitant comprised in the cases above mentioned had an 
annuity exceeding the fixed standard, the surplus was capitalised. Certainly 
more consideration couW not well be shown for moderate fortunes and for 
old age ; and yet no law ever gave rise to more remonstrances and com- 
plaints, and the Convention incurred more censure for a wise measure, and 
one conducted with humanity, than for those terrible measures which daily 
marked its dictatorship.* The stockjobbers were grievously offended, 
because the law, in order to recognise the credits, required certificates of life. 
The holders of titles of emigrants could not easily procure these certificates ; 
hence the jobbers, who were sufferers by this condition, complained loudly 
in the name of tlie aged and the infirm : they declared that neither age nor 
indigence was respected ; they persuaded the annuitants that they should 
not be paid, because the operation and the formalities which it required 
would be attended with endless delays. However, that was not the case. 
Cambon caused some clauses of the decree to be modified, and, by his inces- 
sant superintendence at the Treasury, he carried its provisions into effect 
with the greatest promptitude. The annuitants who did not job in the titles 
of others, but lived upon their own income, were speedily paid ; and, as 
Barrere said, instead of waiting their turn of payment in uncovered courts, 
exposed to the inclemency of the weather, they waited in the warm and 
comfortable rooms of the Treasury. 

Along with these beneficial reforms cruelties continued to run their course.! 

* " So nmnerous was this clasg of life-annuitants in France, and so tenacious are men of 
whatever touches their pecuniary interests, that there was no measure at the time which 
excited such violent discontent, and the Convention were more blamed for this retrenchment 
than all the sanguinary and terrible laws which had stained their administration." — 
Alison. E. 

f " The sun of Liberty was in eclipse, while the crested hydra of the coalition glared round 
the horizon. The atmosphere was dark and sultry. There was a dead pause — a stillness 
in the air, except as the silence was broken by a shout like distant thunder, or the wild chant 
of patriotic songs. There was a fear, as in the time of a plague — a fierceness, as before and 
after a deadly strife. It was a civil war raging in the heart of a great city as in a field of 
battle, and turning it into a charnel-house. The eye was sleepless — the brain heated. 
Sights of horror grew familiar to the mind, Which had no other choice than that of being 
either the victim or the executioner. What at first was stern necessity, or public duty, be- 
came a habit and a sport ; and the arm inured to slaughter, struck at random, sparing neither 
friend nor foe. The soul, harrowed up by the spectacle of the most appalling cruelties, could 
not do without them, and nursed the dreadful appetite for death. The habit of going to the 
place of execution resembled that of visiting the theatre. Legal murder was the order of the 
day, a holiday sight, till France became one scene of wild disorder, and the Revolution • 
stage of blood. The chief actor in this tragic scene, the presiding demon of the storm, wu 
Robespierre." — Hazlitt't Life of Napokon. E. 

VOL. in. — 6 D 2 


The law which expelled the ex-nobles from Paris, the fortresses and the sea- 
ports, gave rise to a multitude of vexations. To distinguish the real nobles* 
was not easier now that nobility was a calamity, than when it had been a 
pretension. Females originally belonging to the commonalty, who had mar- 
ried nobles and become widows, the purchasers of offices who had taken the 
title of esquire, claimed to be exempted from a distinction which formerly 
they had so eagerly coveted. This law then opened a new career to arbitrary 
power and to the most tyrannical vexations. 

The representatives on mission exercised their authority with the utmost 
rigour, and some of them indulged in extravagant and monstrous cruelties. 
In Paris the prisons daily became more and more crowded. The committee 
of general safety had instituted a police which spread terror everywhere. At 
the head of it was a man named Heron, who had under his direction a host 
of agents, all worthy of their cliief. They were what were called, the mes- 
sengers of the committees. Some acted as spies, others were furnished with 
secret and frequendy even blank orders, and went to make arrests either in 
Paris or in the provinces. A sum of raon»y was allowed them for each of 
their expeditions. They extorted more from the prisoners, and thus added 
rapine to cruelty. All the adventurers who had been disbanded with the 
revolutionary army, or dismissed from Bouchotte's office, had taken up this 
new trade and become much more formidable for it. They were everywhere, 
in tlie promenades, the coffee-houses, the theatres. Every moment you 
fancied that you were watched and overheard by one of these inquisitors. 
Owing to their assiduity, the number of the suspected had increased in Paris 
alone to seven or eight thousand.* The prisons no longer exhibited the 
spectacle which they had at first presented ; the rich were no longer seen 
there contributing to the support of the poor, and men of all opinions, of all 
ranks, leading at their joint cost a tolerably agreeable life, and consoling 
themselves by the pleasures of the arts for the hardships of captivity. This 
system had appeared too indulgent for what were called aristocrats. It was 
alleged that the rich were revelling in luxury and abundance, while the peo- 
ple outside were reduced to rations : that the wealthy prisoners wasted in 
riotous living those provisions which might have served to feed the indigent 
citizens : and it had been decided that the system of the prisons should be 
changed. Refectories and common tables had in consequence been esta- 
blished ; the prisoners were supplied at fixed hours and in large halls with an 
unpalatable and unwholesome food, for which they were obliged to pay at a 
very dear rate. Nor were they permitted to procure their own provisions, 
instead of those which they could not eat. They were searched ; their as- 
signats were taken from them, and thus they were deprived of all means of 
procuring themselves comforts of any kind. They were no longer allowed 
the same liberty of seeing one another and living together, and to tlie hard- 

• " Seven thousand prinoners were toon accumulated in the diflTcrent places of confinenient 
in Paris ; the number throughout France exceeded two hundred thousand ! The long nights 
of these wretched victims were frequently interrupted by visits from the execotionera, Mlelj 
intended to excite alarm ; the few hours of sleep allowed ihem were broken by the rattling 
of chains and unliarring of doors, to induce the belief that their fellow-sufTerers were about to 
be led to iho scaffold. From the farthest extremities of France crowds of prisoners daily 
arrived at the gates of the Conciergerie, which successively sent forth its bands of victims to 
the guillotine. Gray hairs and youthful forms, countenances blooming with health, and faces 
worn with sutTering, beauty and talent, rank and virtue, were indiscriminately rolled together 
to the fatal doors. Sixty persons often arrived in a day, and as many were, on the following 
morning, sent out to execution. ?tight and day, the cars inceaaantly diacbargcd victims into 
the prison." — Aliton. E. 


ship of seclusion were superadded the terrors of death, which daily became 
more active and more prompt. The revolutionary tribunal began, after the 
trial of the Hebertists and the Dantonists, to sacrifice victims in troops of 
twenty at a time.* It had condemned the family of the Malesherbes and 
their relatives to tlie number of fifteen or twenty persons.t The venerable 
head of that house had met death with the serenity and the cheerfulness of a 
sage. Happening to stumble, as he was walking to the scaffold, " This false 
step," said he, " is a bad omen ; a Roman would go back to his home." To 
the family of Malesherbes had been added twenty-two members of the par- 
liament. That of Toulouse had been almost entirely sacrificed. Lastly, the 
farmers-general| were brought to trial on account of their former contracts 
witli tlie treasury. It was proved that these contracts had contained condi- 
tions prejudicial to the state, and the revolutionary tribunal sent them to the 
scaffold for exactions on tobacco, salt, &c. Among them was that illustrious 

* " Fifteen prisoners only were at first placed on the fatal chariot, but their number was 
soon augmented to thirty, and graduayy rose to eighty, who were daily sent forth to execu- 
tion. When the fall of Robespierre put a stop to the murders, arrangements had been made 
for increasing them to one hundred and fifty. An immense aqueduct to remove the gore 
had been dug as far as the Place St. Antoine, and four men were daily employed in empty- 
ing the blood of the victims into that reservoir. It was at three in the afternoon when the 
melancholy procession set out from the Conciergerie. The higher orders in general behaved 
with firmness and serenity, and silently marched to death. The pity of the spectators was, 
in a peculiar manner, excited by the bands of females led out together to execution. Four- 
teen young women of Verdun, of the most attractive forms, were cut off together. ' The day 
after their execution,' says Riouffe, 'the court of the prison looked like a garden bereaved of 
its flowers by a tempest.' On another occasion, twenty women of Poitou, chiefly the wives 
of peasants, were placed together on the chariot ; some died on the way, and the wretches 
guillotined their lifeless remains. One kept her infant in her bosom till she reached the foot 
of the scaffold ; the executioners tore the baby from her breast as she suckled it for the last 
time, and the screams of maternal agony were only stifled with her life. In removing the 
prisoners from the gaol of the Maison Lazare, one of the women declared herself with child, 
and on the point of delivery. The hardhearted gaolers compelled her to move on ; she did 
so, uttering piercing shrieks, and at length fell on the ground, and was delivered of a child in 
the presence of her persecutors ! Such accumulated horrors annihilated all the charities and 
intercourse of life. Passengers hesitated to address their most intimate friends on meeting. 
The extent of calamity had rendered men suspicious even of those they loved most. Every 
one assumed the coarsest dress and the most squalid appearance. An elegant exterior would 
have been the certain forerunner of destruction. Night came, but with it no diminution of 
the anxiety of the people. Every family early assembled its numbers. With trembling 
looks, they gazed round the room, fearful that the very walls might harbour traitors. The 
sound of a foot — the stroke of a hammer — a voice in the street — froze all hearts with horror. 
If a knock was heard at the door, every one, in agonizing suspense, expected his fate. Un- 
able to endure such protracted misery, numbers committed suicide." — Alison. E. 

" Had the reign of Robespierre continued much longer, multitudes would have thrown 
themselves under the guillotine. That first of all social afl'cctions, the love of life, was already 
extinguished in almost every breast" — Freron. E. 

■j- " The intellects of Madame dc Rozambeau, who was one of the daughters of Male> 
sherbcs, were unsettled by her grief for the death of her husband. Neither the consoling 
influence of her father, nor the tender caresses of her daughter, were able to calm the distrac- 
tion of her mind. Yet when the act of accusation was presented which comprised Male- 
sherbes, herself, and the rest of the family, she appeared suddenly to call together her wan- 
dering faculties. She hastened to find Mademoiselle Sombreuil, and, addressing her in tones 
of rapture, said, ' Ah, Mademoiselle, you had once the happiness to save your father, and I 
am going to die with mine !' This ray of reason was soon extinct for ever. She went un- 
consciously to prison, and died upon the scaffold, without appearing to understand her fate." 
— Du Broca. E. 

i " Among them was the farmer-general Fougeret, whose sole crime consisted in his not 
being able to pay a revolutionary contribution to the amount of thiriy thousand livres," — Du 
Broca. £. 


votary of science, Lavoisier,* the chemist, who in vain solicited a respite 
of a few days that he might commit to paper a discovery which he had 

The impulse was given : men administered, fought, slaughtered, witli a 
horrible harmony. The committees placed at the »:entre, governed with the 
«ame vigour. The Convention, still tranquil, decreed pensions to the 
widows or the children of the soldiers who had died for their country, modi- 
fied the judgments of tribunals, interpreted decrees, regulated the exchange 
of certain domains ; attended, in short, to matters the most trivial and the 
most subordinate. Barrere came every day to read to it reports of victories. 
These reports he called carmagnoles. At the end of every month he inti- 
mated for form's sake, that the powers of the committees had expired, and 
that it was necessary to renew them. He was then answered, amidst ap- 
plause, that the committees had but to prosecute their labours. Sometimes 
he even forgot this formality, and the committees nevertheless continued to 
exercise their functions. 

It is at such moments of absolute submission that exasperated spirits burst 
forth, and that the despotic authorities have to fear the dagger. There was 
a man, employed as an attendant in the national lottery-office, who had for- 
merly been in the service of several distinguished families, and who was 
vehemently incensed against the prevailing system. His name was Ladmi- 
ral :t he was fifty years of age, and had formed the design to assassinate one 
of the leading members of the committee of public welfare, Robespierre or 
Collot-d'Herbois. For some time past, he had lodged in the same house as 
CoUot-d'Herbois, in the Rue Favart, and hesitated between CoUot and Robes- 
pierre. On the 3d of Prairial, having made up his mind to despatch the 
latter, he had gone to the committee of public welfare and waited for him the 
whole day in the gallery adjoining the committee-room. Not meeting with 
him there, he had returned home and posted himself on the staircase, with 
the intention of striking Collot-d'Herbois. About midnight, CoUot came in 
and went up stairs, when Ladmiral snapped a pistol at him when close to 
the muzzle. The pistol missed fire. Ladmiral pointed it again, but again 
the weapon refused to second his design. A third time he was more suc- 
cessful, but hit only the wall. A scuffle then ensued. Collot-d'Herbois 
cried " murder." Luckily for him a patrole was passing along the street, 
and hastened up on hearing the noise. Ladmiral then ran up-stairs to his 
room, where he fastened himself in. He was followed by the patrole, who 
threatened to break open the door. He declared that he was armed, and that 
he would fire upon any one who should dare to come near him. This threat 
did not intimidate the patrole. The door was forced. A lock-smith, named 

• " -\nthony Lawrence Ijavoisicr, was a celebrated French chemist, whose name is con- 
nected with the antiphlogistic theory of chemistry, to the reception of which he contributed 
by his writings and discoveries. He was born at Paris in 1743, and was the son of opulent 
parents, who gave him a good education. He had rendered many services to the arts and 
sciences both in a public and private capacity. In 1791, he was appointed one of the com- 
missioners of the national treasury. He was executed in 1794, on the charge of being a 
conspirator, and of having adulterated the tobacco with ingredients obnoxious to the heaUi 
of the citizens. Lavoisier married in 1771 the daughter of a farmer-general, who subt^ 
quently became the wife of Count Rumford." — Eneyelopsedia Americana. E. 

f " Henri Tisdmiral was originally a scr\ant in the house of the minister Berlin, and after- 
wards a lottery commissioner at Brussels. He was a short but muscular man. and did not 
appear to have received a good education. He was executed in 1794, for having attempted 
the life of Collot-d'Herbois. He ascended the scafibld dreesed in a ted shirt, and met his 
&te with firmness." — Bigraphie Modeme. E. 


GefTroy, advanced first, and received a inusket-shot, which wounded him 
almost mortally. Ladmiral was immediately secured and conducted to prison. 
When examined by Fouquier-Tinville, he related the circumstances of his 
life, his designs, and the intention which he had to despatch Robespierre 
before he thought of Collot-d'Hcrbois. He was asked who had instigated 
him to commit Uiis crime. He replied with firmness tliat it was not a crime, 
that it was a aer\'ice which he had meant to render his country ; that he alone 
had conceived this design without any suggestion from another ; and that his 
only regret was that it had not succeeded. 

The rumour of this attempt spread with rapidity, and, as usual, it served 
to increase the power of those against whom it was directed. Barr^re went 
the very next day, the 4th of Prairial, to the Convention to read his report 
of this new machination of Pitt's. " The internal factions," said he, " do 
not cease to correspond with that government, which deals in coalitions, which 
purchases murders, which persecutes liberty as its bitterest enemy. While 
we make justice and virtue the order of the day, the coalition places on the 
order of the day crime and assassination. You will everywhere find the 
baleful spirit of the Englishman — in our -markets, in our contracts, on our 
seas, on the continents, in the kinglings of Europe as well as in our cities. 
It is the same head that directs the hands which murder Basseville at Rome, 
the French sailors in the harbour of Genoa, the faithful French in Corsica. 
It is the same head that directs the steel against Lepelletier and Marat, the 
guillotine upon Chalier, and the pistol at CoUot-d'Herbois." Barr^re then 
produced letters from London and Holland, which had been intercepted, and 
which stated that the plots of Pitt were directed against the committees, and 
particularly against Robespierre. One of these letters said in substance* 
" We much fear Robespierre's influence. The more concentrated the French 
republican government becomes, the more strength it will possess, and the 
more difficult it will be to overthrow it." 

This manner of exhibiting facts was well calculated to excite a strong 
interest in favour of the committees and especially of Robespierre, and to 
identify their existence with that of the republic. Barrere then related the 
fact, with all its circumstances, spoke of the tender solicitude which the con- 
stituted authorities had manifested for protecting the national representation, 
and described in magnificent terms the conduct of citizen Geffroy, who had 
received a dangerous wound in seizing the assassin. The Convention re- 
ceived Barrere's report with applause. It ordered an investigation for die 
purpose of ascertaning whether Ladmiral had any accomplices ; it decreed 
thanks to citizen Geffroy, and resolved that, as some compensation, the 
bulletin of the state of his wound should be read every day from the tribune. 
Couthon then made a violent speech to propose that Barrere's report should 
be translated into all languages and circulated in all countries. " Pitt ! Co- 
burg !" he exclaimed, " and all of you, cowardly and petty tyrants, who con- 
sider the world as your heritage, and who, in the last moment of your agony, 
struggle with such fury, whet, whet your daggers ; we despise you too 
much to fear you, and you well know that we are too great to follow your 
example!" The hall rang with applause. "But," continued Couthon, 
" the Law whose reign affrights you has her sword uplifted over your heads. 
She will strike you all. Mankind needs this example, and Heaven, which 
you outrage, has commanded it." 

Collot-d'Herbois then entered, as if to receive the congratulations of the 
Assembly. He was hailed with redoubled acclamation, and had difficulty in 
making himself heard. Robespierre showed much more tact in stayii^g^ 


away, and affecting to withdraw himself from the homage that await- 
ed him. 

On this same day, the 4th, a young female, named Cecile Renault,* called 
at Robespierre's door with a parcel under her arm. She asked to see him, 
and urgently insisted on being admitted. She said that a public functionary 
ought to be always ready to receive those who have occasion to speak to 
him, and at last began to abuse the Duplaix family,! with whom Robespierre 

• " Cecile Renault was nearly twenty years of age when she committed the extraordinary 
act which conducted her to the scaffold. She had one of those figures which please without 
being beautiful. Her features were far from handsome, yet, from the vivacity of her man- 
ners, her agreeable countenance, and elegant deportment, she was called the finest girl of her 
neighbourhood. Her father lived in Paris, where he carried on the business of a paper- 
maker. He had seven children, to all of whom he bad given a good education. Two of his 
sons served the republic in the army of the North. Various were the conjectures at the 
time as to the motives for the conduct of this girl ; but none of them, far from having any 
foundation in truth, had even probability on their side. We can assign no reason for her 
conduct, except that which she herself declared on her trial. On the fourth of Prairial, to- 
wards the close of the day, Cecile Renault presented herself at the door of Robespierre's 
house ; but there seeming to be something suspicious in her manner, she was seized, and 
brought before the committee of public safety, by whom she was examined, but without effect 
The committee then ordered a parcel to be produced before the young girl containing the 
entire dress of a woman, which she had left with a seller of lemonade immediately before her 
visit to Robespierre's house, and interrogated her on her motives for providing herself with 
such apparel. She answered that, well knowing she should be sent to prison, and then to 
the guillotine, she wished to be provided with a decent dress for the occasion. She was then 
asked, ' What use did you propose to make of the two knives that were found on your per- 
son V She repUed, 'None; I never designed harm against any living being.' As she con- 
tinued to give the same sort of answers to every question put to her by Fouquier-Tinville, on 
her subsequent examinations, his ingenuity contrived a species of torture for her. Perceiving 
that she loved dress, he gave orders to the keeper of the prison to take her clothes from her, 
and put filthy rags on her. In this condition they compelled her to appear again before the 
council, but fJEir from being ashamed of her appearance, Cecile Renault jested with the public 
accuser on the pettiness of his invention. It was then resolved to put her and her fanilly to 
death, and she was conducted before the revolutionary tribunal. As she entered the box ap- 
propriated to the accused, she saw among the associates of her misfortune her father and an 
aunt by whom she had been educated. Her eyes filled with tears at the spectacle, but in a 
short time she regained her serenity. Not less than eight carriages were prepared to conduct 
her accomplices to the scaffold. This sight of fifty-four condemned persons, each covered with 
a red shirt, and surrounded by a strong guard, was contrived to gratify the jealousy of Robes- 
pierre. All eyes sought for the young Renault. The approach of death had made no change 
in her countenance. During the long time occupied in the march from the Conciergerie to 
the scaffold, she never betrayed one symptom of fear. She was even seen to smile more than 
once. On reaching the place of execution, she descended from the cart with firmness, and 
embracing her father and her aunt, exhorted them to die with constancy. When it was her 
turn to mount the scaffold, she ascended cheerfully, and even seemed eager to bow her bead 
beneath the axe." — Du Broca. E. 

\ " Robespierre, on his arrival in Pans as a member of the Constituent Assembly, had 
taken, in common with a young friend, a cheap lodging ; and on the evening in which the 
massacre of the petitioning patriots took place in the Champ de Mars (1791), he was return- 
ing thence in great agitation, accompanied by a crowd, crying, ' Vive Robespierre !' His 
situation at the moment was dangerous, for the red flag was still flying. A carpenter of the 
name of Duplay, his zealous admirer, invited him to take refuge in his house. Robespierre 
accepted the offer, and was persuaded not to return home that night Duplay bad a wife 
and three daughters, who were all flattered by the presence of the great popular leader ; and 
at length the carpenter proposed that Robespierre should give up his lodgings, and become 
his inmate and his guest. Domiciled in this family, Robespierre sought no other society, 
and gave all his private hours to this humble circle. Duplay himself received his reward in 
being appointed one of the jurors of the revolutionary tribunal, a place of power and emolu- 
ment — as was also, we believe, his son. Madame Duplay became conspicuous as one of the 
leaders of those ferociotu women who sate daily at their needlework round the scalTold. 


lodged, because they would not admit her. From the perseverance and the 
strange air of this young female, suspicions were conceived. She was 
seized and delivered over to the police. On opening her parcel, it was found 
to contain some clothes and two knives. It was instantly surmised that she 
intended to murder Robespierre. On being questioned, she answered with 
the same assurance as Ladmiral. She was asked what was her business 
with Robespierre. She replied that she wanted to see how a tyrant looked. 
She was asked what the clothes and the knives were for. She answered that 
she had not intended to make any particular use of the knives ; that, as for 
the clothes, she had provided herself with them because she expected to be 
carried to prison, and from prison to the guillotine. ■ She added that she was 
a royalist, because she would rather have one king than fifty thousand. She 
was urged to answer further questions, but refused, and desired to be con- 
ducted to the scaffold. 

This evidence appeared sufficient to warrant the conclusion that young 
Renault was one of the assassins armed against Robespierre.* To tliis last 
circumstance was presently added another. On the following day, at Choisy- 
sur-Seine, a citizen was relating in a coffee-house the attempt to murder 
CoUot-d'Herbois, and rejoicing that it had not succeeded. A monk, named 
Saint-Anax, who was listening to the account, replied that it was unlucky 
that the scoundrels belonging to the committee had escaped, but he hoped 
that sooner or later they would be despatched. The unfortunate man was 
immediately secured and carried the very same night to Paris. These cir- 
cumstances were more than enough to authorize conjectures of vast ramifi- 
cations. It was asserted that a band of assassins was in readiness ; people 
eagerly thronged around the members of the committee, begging them to be 
cautious and to take care of their lives, which were so valuable to the country. 
The sections assembled, and sent fresh deputations and addresses to the Con- 
vention. They said that, among the miracles which Providence had wrought 
in favour of the republic, the manner in which Robespierre and Collot- 

The eldest daughter, Eleonore, who now assumed the classic name of Cornelia, aspired to 
captivate Robespierre ; she endeavoured to become his wife, and ended in passing, in the 
opinion of the neighbours, as his mistress. She seems to have had much of her mother's 
ferocity, for she, with her sisters and other companions, used to sit at their windows to see 
the batches of victims who passed every day to the scaffold. The second sister married 
Lebas, a member of the Convention; and the third married another memlier." — Quarterly 
Review. E. 

• " It is rather a curious circumstance that, about the time of Cecile Renault's adventure, 
there appeared, at a masked ball in London, a character dressed like the spectre of Charlotte 
Corday, who came, as she said, to seek Robespierre, and inflict on him the doom of Marat** 
— Scott's Life of Napoleon. E. 

" Some writers doubt whether there was any real design against Robespierre, and imagine 
that, jealous of CoUot-d'Herbois being selected as a worthier object of assassination, he falsely 
represented himself as having been the first object of Ladmiral, and got up the scene of Ce- 
cile Renault to counterbalance the popularity which the former event was likely to confer on 
Collot. There is something to countenance this opinion. The possibility of an intention to 
assassinate turns altogether on the fact of the knife or knives. Now, in all the early contem- 
poraneous accounts there is no mention of any knife. It is remarkable too, that, while (he 
attack on Collot was blazoned by the government in the Convention, no mention was made 
of Ceciie's attempt till a question was asked about it ; and then Barrcre made a report in 
which the facts were stated, with, however, the all-important omission of the knife. That 
seems to be an afterthought. The earlier writers state distinctly that Cecile had no knife 
whatsoever. We think it probable, nevertheless, that she had some vague intention of imi- 
tating Charlotte Corday ; she, however, seems to have been a weak-minded, ignorant girl, 
who had not thought very distinctly of her object, and not at all of its means." — Quarterly 
Review. E. 


(I'-Herbois had escaped the strokes of the asHassins was not the least. One 
of them even proposed to furnish a guard of twenty-five men for the personal 
protection of the members of the committee. 

The day appointed for the meeting of the Jacobins was two days after- 
wards. Robespierre and Collot-d'Herbois attended, and were received with 
the utmost enthusiasm. When power has found means to insure a general 
submission, it merely needs that it should allow base minds to act, and 
these complete the work of its domination, and add to it divine worship 
and honours. Robespierre and Collot-d'Herbois were gazed at with eager 
curiosity. "Look," it was said, "at those valuable men! The God of 
free men has saved them. He has thrown his shield over them, and has 
preserved them for the republic. It is right that they should share the ho- 
nours which France has decreed to the martyrs of liberty ; she will thus 
have the satisfaction of honouring them without having to weep over their 
funereal urns."* Collot first spoke with his usual vehemence, and said that 
the emotion which he felt at that moment proved to him how delightful it 
was to serve the country, even at the price of the greatest perils. " He 
gathered from it," he said, " this truth, that he who has incurred any danger 
for his country, receives new strength from the fraternal interest which he 
excites. That kind applause is a new compact of union between all men 
of strong minds. The tyrants, held at bay, and feeling their end approach- 
ing, strive in vain to have recourse to daggers, to poison, to stratagems; 
the republicans are not to be daunted. Are not the tyrants aware that, 
when one patriot expires under their blows, all the patriots who survive 
him swear upon his grave vengeance for the crime and the eternity of 
liberty ?" 

Collot finished amidst applause. BentaboUe proposed that tlie president 
should give Collot and Robespierre the fraternal embrace in the name of the 
whole society. Legendre, with the eagerness of a man who had been the 
friend of Danton, and who was forced to stoop to more than one meanness 
to cause that friendship to be forgotten, said that the hand of guilt was raised 
to strike virtue, but that the God of nature had prevented the consummation 
of the crime.t He exhorted all the citizens to form a guard around the mem- 
bers of the committee, and he himself offered to be the first to protect their 
invaluable lives. At this moment some sections solicited admittimce into 
the haU. The enthusiasm was extreme, but the concourse was so great that 
the society was forced to leave them at the door. 

Tlie insignia of supreme power were offered to the committee, and this 
was the fit moment for declining them. It was sufficient for adroit chiefs to 
cause such marks of distinction to be offered to them, that they might have 
the merit of a refusal. The members of the committee who were present 
opposed with affected indignation the proposal for assigning guards to them. 
Couthon immediately addressed t!ie assembly. He was astonished, he said, 
at tlie proposal which had just been made to tlie Jacobins, and which had 
already been submitted to the Convention. He was willing, indeed, to attri- 
bute it to pure intentions, but none but despots surrounded themselves with 
guards, and the members of the committee had no wish to place themselves 
on tlie same footing as despots. They had no need of guards to defend 

• See the proceedings of the Jacobins on the Gth of Prairial. 

f " The clubs and the Convention ninjj with the most fulsome congratulations on Robe^ 
piene's escape, which was openly attributed to the good Genius of the republic, and to the 
interposition of the Supreme Being, in gratitude for Robespierre having proclaimed his exist- 
ence ! Such was the madness of those times !" — HazlUt. £. 


them. Virtue, the confidence of the people, and Providence were their pro 
lectors. They needed no other guarantees for their safety. Besides, they 
would always be ready to die at their post and for liberty. 

Legendre lost no time in defending his motion. He said that he did not 
mean to give precisely an organized guard to the members of the committee, 
but to induce the good citizens to watch over their safety. At any rate, if 
he was in the wrong, he would withdraw his motion. His intention was 
pure. Robespierre succeeded him in the tribune. It was the first time that 
he had risen to speak. He was hailed with loud and prolonged applause. 
Silence was at length obtained, and he was allowed to begin. " I am one 
of those," said he, " whom the events which have just occurred ought least 
to interest. Still I cannot refrain from a few reflections. If the defenders 
of liberty are exposed to the poniards of tyranny, it is no more than might 
be expected. I have already said, if we fight the enemy, if we thwart the 
factions, we shall be assassinated. What I foresaw has happened. The 
soldiers of tyranny have bitten the dust, the traitors have perished on the 
scaffold, and daggers have been whetted for us. I know not what impres- 
sion these events make upon you, but that which they have produced upon 
me is this : I have felt that it was easier to assassinate us than to conquer 
our principles and to subdue our armies. I said to myself that the more 
uncertain and precarious the lives of the defenders of the people are, the 
more anxious they ought to be to employ their last days in performing actions 
serviceable to liberty. I, who do not believe in the necessity of living, but 
only in virtue and in Providence, — I am placed in a state in which most 
assuredly the assassins had no intention to place me. I feel more independ- 
ent than ever of the malice of men. The crimes of tyrants and the weapons 
of assassins have rendered me more free and more formidable to all the enemies 
of the people. My soul is more disposed than ever to unveil the traitors, 
and to strip them of the mask with which they presume to cover themselves. 
Frenchmen ! friends of equality, commit with confidence to us the duty of 
employing the short remainder of life that Providence may grant us, in com- 
bating the enemies that surround you !" These words were followed by 
redoubled acclamations, and transports of enthusiasm burst from all parts of 
the hall. Robespierre, after enjoying this homage for a few moments, again 
began to speak against a member of the society, who had moved that civic 
honours should^ paid to Geffroy. Coupling this motion with that for 
assigning guards to the members of the committee, he maintained that these 
motions were intended to excite calumny and envy against the government, 
by loading it with superfluous honours. He, in consequence, prpposed and 
carried the rejection of that which had demanded civic honours for Geffroy. 

At the degree of power which the committee had attained, it behoved it 
to avoid the appearance of sovereignty. It exercised an absolute dictator- 
ship, but it was not for its interest that this should be too plainly perceived ; 
and all the external signs, all the parade of power, would but compromise it 
to no purpose. An ambitious soldier, who is victor by his sword, and who 
aspires to a throne, hastens to characterize his authority as speedily as pos- 
sible, and to add the ensigns of power to power itself; but the leaders of a 
party, who govern that party by their influence alone, and who wish to 
remain masters of it, must continually flatter it, incessantly refer to it the 
power which they exercise, and, wliile governing, appear only to obey it. 

It behoved, tlierefore, the members of the committee of public welfare, 
the chiefs of the Mountain, not to separate themselves from it and from the 
Convention, but to repel, on the contrary, whatever might seem to raise them 

VOL. ui. — 7 E 


too high above their colleagues. People had already changed their opiufoHf 
and the extent of their power struck even persons of their own part)'. They 
already regarded them as dictators, and it was Robespierre in particular 
whose high influence began to dazzle all eyes. It was customary to say no 
longer, The committee wills it, but Robespierre wills it. Fouquier-Tin- 
ville said to an individual whom he threatened with the revolutionary tribu- 
nal, " If it please Robespierre, thou shalt go before it." The agents of 
power constantly named Robespierre in their operations, and seemed to refer 
everything to him as to the cause from which everything emanated. To him 
the victims did not fail to impute their sufferings, and the inmates of the 
prisons recognised but one oppressor — Robespierre. Foreigners themselves, 
in their proclamations, called the French soldiers Robespierre' s soldiers. 
This expression occurred in a proclamation of the Duke of York's. 

Sensible how dangerous the use made of his name was, Robespierre lost 
no time in delivering a speech to the Convention, for the purpose of repelling 
what he termed perfidious insinuations, the object of which was to ruin him. 
He repeated it at the Jacobins, and there obtained the applause which was 
usually bestowed on all his harangues. The Journal de la Montagne and 
the Moniteur having given, on the following day, a report of this speech, 
and asserted that " it was a masterpiece which was not susceptible of analy- 
sis, because every word was equivalent to a sentence, every sentence to a 
page," he took up the matter with great warmth, and complained next day 
at the Jacobins of the journals, which affected to bepraise the members of 
the committee, in order to ruin them by giving them the appearance of being 
all-powerful. The two journals were obliged to retract what they had said, 
and to apologize for having praised Robespierre, by the assurance that their 
intentions were pure. 

Robespierre had vanity, but was not great enough to be ambitious. Co- 
vetous of flattery and homage, he feasted upon them,* and justified himself 

* "Robespierre was now (1794), and had been for some time, no lon^r like the same 
man. A sort of delirium of vanity had seized him, and it was at this period that, under the 
influence, no doubt, of this madness of self-conceit, he put into my hands his Memoirs, of 
which I was thus enabled to take a copy. He sought my company more than ever ; his 
friendship was troublesome to me; it was a weight upon my heart, that I knew not how to 
get rid of. I never saw him but at night, and, as it were, in secret, som^raes in the garden 
of the Tuileries, sometimes at my lodgings, and very rarely at his ownMhe seemed to wish 
that I should not meet with any of his usual companions. }{e chatted with me on the most 
indifferent things, on the fine arts, and on literature, avoided all conversation on political 
matters, and stopped my mouth by a bitter expression or an angry look whenever I ventured 
upon that forbidden topic. The reader may figure to himself what I must have felt, when, 
tete-d-tele with him after the horrors of the day, and there was not one but was marked by 
sanguinary executions, I was obliged to talk to him about Homer, Tasso, or Rousseau, or to 
analyze Cicero, Montaigne, and Rabelais, with this man, whose hands were stained with 
blood ! He was fond of novels, and took great delight in the poems of Ossian. From a sin- 
gular contrast, next to those sombre and melancholy products of the bards of the North, he 
liked nothing so well as the bulTooneries of Scarron. He knew by heart two entire cantos 
of the burlesque translation of the .^noid, and I have heard him laugh immoderately or 
repeating these lines, in which Scanon says that, in the infernal regions, .£neas 

* Rencontre I'ombre d'un cocher, 
*** Qui, tenant I'ombre d'une brosse, 

En frottait I'ombre d'un caroaae.' 

But Robespierre's laughter, so far from communicating any hilarity to me, made me pr<v 
foundly sad. I fancied that I heard the howling of a tiger, and, even at this day, whenever 
the recollection of that laugh recurs to my mind, I shudder involuntarily, as if a demon 


for receiving them by declaring that he had no desire to be all-powerful. 
He had around him a kind of court, composed of a few men, but cliiefly of 
a great number of women, who paid him the most delicate attentions. 
Thronging to liis residence, they manifested the most constant anxiety for 
his welfare. They were continually eulogizing among themselves his virtue, 
and his eloquence, his genius. They called him a divine, a superhuman 
mortal. An old marquise was the principal of those females who waited, 
like real devotees, on this proud and blood-thirsty pontiff. The enthusiasm 
of the women is always the surest symptom of public infatuation. It is 
they who, by their active attentions, their language, and their solicitude, 
undertake the task of throwing ridicule upon it. 

With the women who adored Robespierre, was associated a ridiculous 
and absurd sect that had recendy sprung up It is at the moment of the 
abolition of an established religion that sects particularly abound, because 
the absolute necessity for believing something seeks to feed itself with other 
illusions in lieu of those which have been destroyed. An old woman, 
named Catharine Theot, Avhose brain was turned in the prisons of the Bas- 
tille, called herself the mother of God, and proclaimed the speedy coming 
of a new Messiah,* He was to appear, according to her, amidst convul- 
sions, and, at the moment of his appearance, an eternal life was to begin for 
tlie elect. These elect were to propagate their faith by all means whatever, 
and to exterminate the enemies of the true God. Dora Gerle, the Carthu- 
sian, who had figured under the Constituent Assembly, and whose weak 
imagination had been led astray by mystic dreams, was one of their true 
prophets. Robespierre was the other. His deism had no doubt obtained 

were venting close to my ear the bursts of his satanic gaiety. Robespierre had habits of ex- 
cessive delicacy, especially at the period of which I am speaking, and amid the men by whom 
he was surrounded. He was particular about having his linen very fine, and very white. 
The woman who took care of it was frequently scolded on this account, and I have witnessed 
some curious scenes between him and his laundress. He would have his frills plaited with 
extreme neatness : he wore waistcoats of delicate colours — pink, light blue, chamois, ele- 
gantly embroidered. The dressing of his hair took him a good deal of time ; and he was 
very difficult about the colour and cut of his coats. He had two watches, wore several 
costly rings on his fingers, and had a valuable collection of snuff-boxes. His elegant appear- 
ance formed a singular contrast with the studied squalidness of the Jacobins. The populace 
would have insulted a stranger who should have dressed with such care, and in whom it 
would have been deemed aristocratic ; but in its favourite, Robespierre, this was considered 
perfectly republican. From a singular contrast, this man, so bold in speech, tremble*! with 
fear at the least danger. He did not like to be left alone in the dark. The slightest noise 
made him shudder, and terror was expressed in his eyes. I had in my room a skull, which 
I made use of to study anatomy. The sight of it was so disagreeable to him, that he at 
length begged me to put it away, and not let him see it any more. I was confounded at 
such a proof of weakness, which furnished occasion for profound reflections." — Memoirs 
of a Peer of France. E. 

• " There lived, in an obscure quarter of Paris, an old woman of the name of Cathariae 
Theot, who had the same mania as our Johanna Southcott, of believing that, at the age of 
seventy, she was to become the mother of the Saviour, who was now to be born again, and 
to commence his final reign. With maniacs of this description, it was natural that the great 
name of Robespierre, who had made himself the apostle of deism, should mingle itself with 
their visions. The committee of general security heard of these l>edlamite8 — which proba- 
bly Robespierre himself had never done — and they seized the favourable opportunity of 
throwing on him all the ridicule and discredit of their fanaticism. There was no proof 
whatever that he knew any thing of his fanatic admirers ; the injury therefore to his repu- 
trtion was not great — but the insult was. His power was at once too fearful and loo fragile 
to tolerate levity. Its essence was terror and silence ; and he wished to be spoken of neither 
en bien ni en mal. At this crisis, as at all the former, his prudence seems to have made 
him desirou* of withdrawiog his recent prominence." — (^uurterly Review. £. 


him this honour. Catharine Theot called him her beloved son ; the initiated 
treated him with reverence, and regarded him as a supernatural being, called 
to sublime and mysterious destinies. He was probably apprized of their 
follies, and, without being their accomplice, he profited by their error. It 
is certain that he had protected Dom Gerle, that he was frequently visited by 
him, and that he had given him a certificate of civism, signed by his own 
hand, to save him from the p>ersecution of a revolutionary committee. This 
sect was widely spread ; it had its form of worship and its practices, which 
contributed not a little to its propagation ; it held its meetings at Catharine 
Theot's, in a remote quarter of Paris, near the Pantheon. Here the recep- 
tion of new members took place, in the presence of the mother of God, 
Dom Gerle, and the principal of the elect. This sect began to be known, 
and it was also vaguely known that Robespierre was regarded by it as a 
prophet. Thus everything contributed to exalt and to compromise him. 

It was among his colleagues more especially that jealousies began to arise. 
Divisions already manifested themselves, and this was natural ; for, the 
power the of committee being established, rivzdries had sprung up. The com- 
mittee had split into several distinct groups. The twelve members who 
composed it were reduced to eleven by the death of Herault-Sechelles. Jean- 
Bon-St.-Andre, and Prieur of La Mame were still absent on missions. Car- 
not was exclusively occupied with the war department, Prieur of the C6te-d'0r 
with the army supplies, Robert Lindet with provisions. These were called 
examiners. They took no part either in politics or in rivalries. Robes- 
pierre, St. Just, and Couthon, were linked together. A sort of superiority 
of mind and manners, tlie high opinion which they seemed to have of them- 
selves, and the contempt which they appeared to feel for their other col- 
leagues, had led them to form a knot by themselves. They were called the 
men of the high hand. Barr^re was, in their estimation, but a weak and 
pusillanimous creature, disposed, by his suppleness, to serve anybody; 
Collot-d'Herbois but a club declaimer; Billaud-Varennes but a man of 
moderate capacity, gloomy, and full of envy. These last three could not 
forgive this secret disdain of their colleagues. Barr^re durst not speak out; 
but Collot-d'Herbois, and particularly Billaud, whose temper was indomita- 
ble, could not conceal the hatred which had began to inflame them. They 
sought to prop themselves upon their colleagues called the examiners, and 
to gain them to their side. They had also reason to hope for support from 
the committee of general safety, which began to feel sore at the supremacy 
of the committee of public welfare. Specially limited to the police, and 
frequently watched or controlled in its operations by the committee of pub- 
lic welfare, the committee of general safety could ill brook this dependence. 
Amar, Vadier, Vouland, Jagot, Louis of the Bas-Rhin, the most cruel of its 
members, were at the same time the most disposed to shake off the yoke. 
Two of their colleagues, who were called the listeners, watched them on 
Robespierre's behalf, and this kind of espionnage they could no longer 
endure. The discontented in both committees might therefore unite and 
become dangerous to Robespierre, Couthon, and St. Just. We ought par- 
ticularly to observe that it was the rivalry of pride 'and power which com- 
menced the division, and not a difference of political opinion ; for Billaud- 
Varennes, Collot-d'Herbois, Vadier, Nouland, Amar, Jagot, and Louis, 
were not less formidable revolutionists than the three adversaries whom they 
sought to overthrow. 

Another circumstance tended to widen the breach between the committee 
of general safety and the rulers of the committee of public welfare. Great 


complaints were made of the arrests, which daily became more numerous, and 
which were often unjust, as they were directed against a great number of per- 
sons known to be excellent patriots. People also complained of tlie rapine and 
vexations of tlie numerous agents to whom the committee of general welfare 
had delegated its inquisition. Robespierre, St. Just, and Coutlion, not daring 
to obtain eillier tlie abolition or the renewal of this committee, devised a scheme 
for establishing an office of police in the bosom of the committee of public 
welfare. This was, without destroying the committee of general safety, to 
encroach upon, and strip it of its functions. St. Just was to have the direc- 
tion of this office, but, having been sent to the army, he had not been able 
to perform that duty, and Robespierre had undertaken it in his stead. The 
office of police caused those who had been apprehended by order of the 
committee of general safety to be set at liberty, and the latter committee acted 
in the same manner towards the other. This usurpation of functions led to 
an open rupture. This disagreement transpired ; and, notwithstanding the 
secrecy which enveloped the government, it was soon known that its mem- 
bers were at variance. 

Otlier discontents, not less serious, arose in the Convention. It was still 
very submissive, but some of its members, who had conceived fears on their 
own account, gained somewhat more boldness from danger. These were 
old friends of Danton's who had compromised themselves by tlieir connexion 
with him, and who were sometimes threatened as the relics of the party of 
the corrupted and of the indulgents. Some had been guilty of malversation 
in their functions, and dreaded the application of the system of virtue. 
Others had appeared averse to the exercise of the daily increasing severities. 
The most compromised among them was Tallien. It was said that he had 
been guilty of malversation at the commune when he was a member of it, 
and afterwards at Bordeaux when on mission there. It was added that, while 
in the latter city, he had suffered himself to be softened and conquered by a 
young and beautiful female,* who had accompanied him to Paris, and just 
been thrown into prison. Next to Tallien was mentioned Bourdon of the 
Oise, who was compromised by his quarrel with the Saumur party, and who 
had been expelled from the Jacobins with Fabre, Camille, and Philipeaux ; 
likewise Thuriot, who had also been excluded by the Jacobins ; Legendre, 
who, notwithstanding his daily submissions, could never obtain forgiveness 

* " Madame Tallien was above the middle height, bat a perfect harmony in her whole 
person took away all appearance of the awkwardness of too lofty a stature. It was the Ve- 
nus of the Capitol, but still more beautiful than the work of Phidias; for you perceived in 
her the same perfection of features, the same symmetry in arms, hands, and feet; and the 
whole animated by a benevolent expression — a reflection of the magic mirror of the soul, 
which indicated all that there was in that soul, and this was kindness. She might have be- 
come the French Aspasia, with whom her wit, her beauty, and her political influence, may 
serve to establish a comparison, though neither of her husbands was a Pericles. Madame 
Tallien was born in Spain, where her father, M. de Cabarrus, a French banker, settled, and 
had acquired a great reputation. At twelve years of age, 'J'heresa Cabarrus was the loveliest 
of all the beauties of Cadiz. Her father sent her from home at an early age, because he was 
still too young to take upon himself the superintendence of so lovely a daughter. She was 
seen about this time by her uncle, Jalabert, who could not escape the fascination which the 
lovely Theresa, with a look and a smile, exercised upon every man who beheld her. He 
wished to marry her, but she gave the preference to M. de Fontenoy, to whom she was 
united some time after. With a cultivated mind and intellectual powers of a high order, 
Madame Tallien would have possessed, even without her beauty, more than an ordinary 
■hare of attractions. She was always remarkably kind and obliging, but such is the eflect 
en the multitude, of a name that bears a slain, that her cause was never separated from that 
of her second husband." — Duchets d'Abrantea. E. 



for his former connexion with Danton ; lastly, Fr^ron,* Barras,t Lecointe, 
Rovere,J Monestier, Panis, &c., all either friends of Danton's or disap- 
provers of the system followed by the government. These personal anxie- 
ties propagated themselves. The number of the discontented daily increased, 
and they were ready to join the members of one or the other committee who 
would give them a hand. 

The 20th of Prairial (June 8) approached. It was the day fixed for the 
festival in honour of the Supreme Being. On the 16th a president was to 
be appointed. The Convention unanimously named Robespierre to occupy 
the arm-chair. This was assigning to him the principal part on the 20th. 
His colleagues, as we see, still strove to flatter and to soothe him by dint of 
honours. Vast preparations had been made, agreeably to the plan conceived 
by David. The festival was to be magnificent. On the morning of the 20th 
the sun shone forth in all its brightness. The multitude, ever ready to at- 
tend sights given to it by power, had collected. Robespierre kept it wait- 
ing a considerable time. At length he appeared amidst the Convention. He 
was dressed with extraordinary care. His head was covered with feathers, 
and in his hand he held, like all the representatives, a bunch of flowers, fruit, 
and ears of corn. In his countenance, usually so gloomy, beamed a cheer- 
fulness that was uncommon with him. An amphitheatre was erected in the 
centre of the garden of the Tuileries. This was occupied by the Conven- 
tion ; and on the right and left were several groups of boys, men, aged per- 
sons, and females. The boys wore wreaths of violets, the youths of myrde, 
the men of oak, the aged people of ivy and ohve. The women held their 

* " Frdron was the earliest object of the affections of Napoleon's second sister Pauline, 
but neither the Emperor nor Josephine would hear of an alliance with the friend of Robes- 
pierre, and ready instrument of his atrocities." — Scott's Life of Napoleon. E. 

•j- " Barras, of a good family of Provence, was an officer in the regiment of the Isle of 
France. At the Revolution he was deputed to the Convention, but had no talent for oratory, 
and no habits of business. On his return to Paris, after having been appointed commissioner 
to the army of Italy, and to Provence, he helped to oppose Robespierre, marched against the 
commune which had risen in favour of the tyrant, and succeeded. Subsequent events brought 
him into the Directory. He did not possess the qualifications required to fill that situation, 
but he acted better than was expected from him by those who knew him. He put his esta- 
blishment on a splendid footing, kept a pack of hounds, and his expenses were considerable. 
"When he went out of the Directory, he had still a large fortune, and did not attempt to con- 
ceal it; but the manner in which it had been acquired, by favouring the contractors, impaired 
the morality of the nation. Barras was tall; he spoke sometimes in moments of agitation, 
and his voice filled the house. His intellectual capacity, however, did not allow him to go 
beyond a few sentences. He was not a man of resolution, and had no opinion of his own 
on any part of the administration of public affairs." — Lot Cafes. £. 

" Barras was born at Foix, in Provence, in the year 1755, of the family of Barras, wboae 
antiquity in that quarter had become a proverb. He died in retirement in the year 1829." — 
Eneyclnpaedia Americana. E. 

t "J. M. de Rovere, deputy to the Convention, was the son of a very rich innkeeper in 
the country of Venassin. A good education and plausible address furnished him with the 
means of introducing himself into the best society, where he gave himself out as a deaceodant 
of the ancient family of Rovrrc de St. Marc, which had long been extinct. A man named 
Pin, well known at Avignon for his skill in forging titles, made him a genealogy, by means 
of which he found himself graded on that illustrious house, and took the title of Marquis de 
Fonville, and soon obtained the band of a Mademoiselle de Claret, a rich heiress, whose for- 
tune he afterwards dissipated. In 1791 Rovere figured under J ourdan at the head of the 
army of rutVians of Avignon. In 1793, he voted for the King's death, and became one of 
the persecutors of the Girondins. In the ensuing year be declared against Robespierre. In 
n9b he presided in the Convention; but, having aAcrwards rendered himself obnoxious to 
the ruling powers, was transported to Cayenne, where he died in the year 1798." — Biogru^ 
phie Modeme. E. 



daughters by the hand, and carried baskets of flowers. Opposite to the am- 
phitheatre were figures representing Atheism, Discord, Selfishness. These 
were destined to be burned. As soon as the Convention had taken its place, 
tlie ceremony was opened with music. The president then delivered a first 
discourse on the object of the festival. " Republican Frenchmen !" said he, 
" the ever fortunate day which the French people dedicated to the Supreme 
Being is at length arrived. Never did the world which he created, exhibit 
a spectacle so worthy of his attention. He has beheld tyranny, crime, and 
imposture, reigning on earth. He beholds at this moment a whole nation, 
assailed by all the oppressors of mankind, suspending the course of its he- 
roic labours, to lift its thoughts and its prayers towards the Supreme Being, 
who gave it the mission to undertake and the courage to execute them !" 

After proceeding in this manner for a few minutes, the president descended 
from the amphitheatre, and, seizing a torch, set fire to the figures of Atheism, 
Discord, and Selfishness. From amidst their ashes arose the statue of Wis- 
dom ; but it was remarked that it was blackened by the flames from which 
h issued. Robespierre returned to his place, and delivered a second speech 
on the extirpation of the vices leagued against the republic. After this first 
ceremony, the assembly set out in procession for the Champ de Mars. The 
pride of Robespierre seemed redoubled, and he affected to walk very far be- 
fore his colleagues. But some indignantly approached and lavished on him 
tlie keenest sarcasms. Some laughed at the new pontiflf, and said, in allusion 
to the smoky statue of Wisdom, that his wisdom was darkened. Others 
uttered the word "Tyrant," and exclaimed that there were still Brutuses. 
Bourdon of the Oise addressed him these prophetic words : "The Tarpeian 
rock is close to the Capitol." 

The procession at length reached the Champ de Mars. There, from 
amidst the old altar of the country, rose a lofty mount. On the summit of 
this mount was a tree, beneath the boughs of which the Convention seated 
itself. On each side of the mount the different groups of boys, old men, and 
women, took their places. A symphony commenced; the groups then sang 
stanzas, aUernately answering one another; at length, on a given signal, the 
youths drew their swords, and swore to the elders to defend the country; 
the mothers lifted their infants in their arms ; all present raised their hands 
towards Heaven, and the oath to conquer was mingled with the homage paid 
to the Supreme Being. They then returned to the garden of the Tuileries, 
and the festival concluded with public diversions. 

Such was the famous festival celebrated in honour of the Supreme Being. 
Robespierre had on that day attained the summit of honours, but he had 
attained the summit only to be hurled from it.* Everybody had been hurt 
by his pride. The sarcasms had reached his ear,t and he had observed in 

• ♦' All looked forward to something extraordinary aa the result of this imposinp^ attitude 
and ostentatious display on the part of Robespierre. His enemies expected an attempt at 
usurpation ; the people in general, a relaxation of the system of severity. How little this 
was to understand the nature of the passions ! The glossy sleekness of the pantlier's skin 
does not imply his lameness, and his fawning eye dooms its prey while it glitters. Robes- 
pierre went on as before. No ray of hope appeared in his harangue to the people, which 
was as dull as it was dispiriting. ' To-day,' he cried, ' let us give ourselves up to the trans- 
ports of a pure enjoyment; to-morrow, we will combat vice and tyranny«new.' These 
ideas had taken such strong possession of his mind, that he was haunted by them. He was 
110 longer a voluntary agent, but the mere slave of habitual and violent excitement." — Haz- 
lit fa Life of Napoleon. E. 

f " Lecomtre of Versailles, stepjnng up to him, had had the hi>ldne8s to say, ' I like your 
Coitival, Robespierre, but you I detest mortally.' Many among^ the crowd muttered the word 


some of his colleagues a boldness that was unusual in tliem. Next day he 
went to the committee of public welfare, and expressed his indignation 
against the deputies who had insulted him on the preceding day. He com- 
plained of those friends of Danton's, those impure relics of the indulgent and 
corrupted party, and demanded the sacrifice of them. liillaud-Varennes and 
CoUot d'Herbois, who were not less indignant than their colleagues at tlie 
part which Robespierre had performed the day before, appeared extremely 
cold, and showed no disposition to avenge him. They did not defend the 
deputies of whom Robespierre complained, but, referring to the festival itself, 
they expressed apprehensions concerning its effects. It had, they said, 
alienated many minds. Besides, those ideas of the Supreme Being, of the 
immortality of the soul, those pompous ceremonies, looked like a return to 
tlie superstition of former times, and were likely to give a retrograde impulse 
to the Revolution. Robespierre was irritated by these remarks. He insisted 
that he never meant to make the Revolution retrograde, tliat, on the contrary, 
he had done everything to accelerate its course. In proof of this, he men- 
tioned aprojet de loi, which he had just drawn up with Couthon, and which 
would tend to make the revolutionary tribunal stUl more sanguinary. This 
projet Avas as follows: 

For two months past some modifications in the organization of the revolu- 
tionary tribunal had been contemplated. The defence made by Danton, 
Camille, Fabre, and Lacroix, had shown the inconvenience of the remaining 
formalities that had been suffered to exist. Every day it was still necessary 
to hear witnesses and advocates, and, how brief soever the examination of 
witnesses, how limited soever the examination of the advocates, still they 
occasioned a great loss of time and were always attended by a certain noto- 
riety. The heads of this government, who wished everything to be done 
promptly and without noise, were desirous of suppressing these inconvenient 
formalities. Having accustomed themselves to think that the Revolution 
had a right to destroy all its enemies, and that they were to be distinguished 
on the mere inspection, they conceived that the revolutionary proceedings 
could not be rendered too expeditious. Robespierre, who was specially 
charged with the superintendence of the tribunal, had prepared the law witli 
Couthon alone, for St. Just was absent. He had not designed to consiUt his 
otlier colleagues of the committee of public welfare, and he merely came to 
read the projet to them before he presented it. Though Barrere and CoUot- 
d'Herbois were quite as willing to admit of its sanguinary dispositions, they 
could not but receive it coldly, because it was drawn up and digested without 
their participation. It was however agreed that it should be proposed ott 
the following day, and that Couthon should report upon it ; but no satisfac- 
tion was given to Robespierre for tlie affroxits which he had received on the 
preceding day. 

The committee of general safety was no more consulted upoiv this law 
than the committee of public welfare had been. It knew that a law was pre- 
paring, but was not invited to take any part in it. It wished at least, out of 

' Tyrant/ and when in the course of bia speech he had observed that it was the Great Eternal 
who bad placed in the bosom of the oppressor the sensation of remorse and terror, a powerful 
voice exclaimed ' True, Robespierre, most true V " — Lacretelle. E. 

"Robespierre conceived the idea of celebrating a festival in honour of the Suprente Being, 
flattering hiniHelf, doubtless, with being able to rest his political ascendency on a rciigioii 
arrani^cd according to his own notions. But, in the possession of this impious festival, ha 
bethought himself of walking the first, in order to inaik his pre-emineoce, and froot that 
moment he was lost T — Madame de StaiL £. 


fifty jurors who should be designated, to have the nomination of twenty ; 
but Robespierre rejected them all, and chose none but his own creatures. 
The proposition was submitted on the 22d of Prairial. Couthon was the 
reporter. After tlie usual declamations on the inflexibility and promptitude 
which ought to be the characteristics of revolutionary justice, he read the 
projet, which was couched in terrific language. The tribunal was to be 
divided into four sections, composed of a president, three judges, and nine 
jurors. Twelve judges and fifty jurors were appointed, who were to suc- 
ceed one another in the exercise of tlieir functions, so that the tribunal might 
sit every day. The only punishment was to be death. The tribunal, said 
the law, was instituted to punish the enemies of the people. Then followed 
a most vague and comprehensive definition of the enemies of the people. In 
the number were included dishonest contractors, and the alarmists who cir- 
culated bad news. The power of bringing citizens before the revolutionary 
tribunal was assigned to the two committees, to the Convention, to the 
representatives on mission, and to Fouquier-Tinville, the public accuser. 
If there existed proofs, either material or moral, no witnesses were to be 
examined. Lastly, there was a clause to this eflect : To calumniated patriots 
the law gives patriot jurors as defenders; to conspirators it grants none. 
A law suppressing all guarantees, limiting the proceeding to a mere nomi- 
nal appeal, and which, in attributing to the two committees the power of 
sending tlie citizens to the revolutionary tribunal, gives them thus the right 
of life and death, such a law could not but excite real alarm, especially in 
those members of the Convention who were already uneasy on their own 
account. It was not said whether the committees were to have the power 
of bringing the representatives before the tribunal without applying for a 
previous decree of accusation : thenceforward the committees would possess 
the power of sending their colleagues to death, without any further trouble 
than that of pointing them out to Fouquier-Tinville. The remnant of the 
faction of the so-called indulgents was accordingly roused, and for the first 
time during a considerable period, an opposition was manifested in the bosom 
of the Assembly. Ruamps moved for the printing and adjournment of tlie 
projet, saying that, if tliis law were adopted without adjournment, they 
would have no other course left them than to blow out their brains.* Lecom- 
tre of Versailles, seconded the motion of adjournment. Robespierre imme- 
diately came forward to combat tliis unexpected resistance. " There are," 
said he, " two opinions as old as our revolution; one, which tends to punish 
conspirators in a prompt and inevitable manner ; the other, which tends to 
absolve the guilty ; this latter has never ceased to show itself on all occasions. 
It again manifests itself to-day, and I come to put it down. For these two 
months, the tribunal has been' complaining of the shackles which obstruct its 
progress ; it complains of the lack jjjf jurors ; a law therefore is required. 
Amidst the victories of the republic, the conspirators are more active and 
more ardent than ever. It behoves us to strike tliem. This unexpected 
opposition which manifests itself is not natural. You wish to divide the 

* " This decree sounded like a death-knell in the ears of the Convention. All were at 
once made sensible that another decimation of the legislative body approached. Ruamps, 
one of the deputies, exclaimed, in accents of despair, ' If this decree is resolved on, the fricndd 
of liberty will have no other course left than to blow their own brains out.' From this mo- 
ment there was mortal, though secret war, between Robespierre and the most distinguished 
members of the Assembly, who began to devise means of screening themselves from power 
which, like the huge anaconda, enveloped in its coils, and then crushed and swallowed, what* 
ever came in contact with it" — Scott's Life of Napoleon. E. 

VOL. III.— ^ 


Convention ; you wish to intimidate it." — " No, no," cried several voices, 
*' nobody shall divide us." — "It is not we," added Robespierre, "who have 
always defended the Convention, it is not w^e that it will have occasion to 
fear. At any rate we have now arrived at the point where they may kill us, 
but where they shall not prevent us from saving the country." 

Robespierre never missed a single occasion to talk of daggers and of as- 
sassins, as though he were still threatened. Bourdon of the Oise replied to 
him, and said that, if the tribunal was in need of jurors, it had but to adopt 
immediately the proposed list, for nobody had any wish to clog the march 
of justice, but that the rest of the projet ought to be adjourned. Robespierre 
again ascended the tribune, and said that the law was neither more complex 
nor more obscure than a great many otherj which had been adopted without 
' discussion, and that, at a moment when the defenders of liberty were threat- 
ened with the dagger, people ought not to strive to retard the repression of 
the conspirators. He concluded with proposing to discuss the wliole law, 
article by article, and to sit till midnight, if needful, that it might be decreed 
that very day. The sway of Robespierre once more triumphed. The law 
was read and adopted in a few moments. 

Bourdon, Tallien, and all the members who entertained personal appre- 
hensions, were nevertheless alarmed at such a law. As the committees were 
empowered to bring all the citizens before the revolutionary tribunal, and not 
a single exception was made in favour of the members of the national repre- 
sentation, they were afraid of being some night apprehended and delivered 
up to Fouquier, before the Convention should even be apprized of it. On 
the following day the 23d of Prairial, Bourdon begged leave to speak. "In 
giving," said he, "to the committees of public welfare and of general safety 
the right to send the citizens before the revolutionary tribunal, the Conven- 
tion certainly could not mean that the power of the committees should extend 
over all its members without a previous decree." There were cries from all 
quarters of "No, no." — "I fully expected these murmurs," continued Bour- 
don ; "they prove to me that liberty is imperishable." This remark caused 
a deep sensation. Bourdon proposed to declare that members of the Con- 
vention could not be delivered up to the tribunal without a decree of accusa- 
tion. The committees were absent; Bourdon's motion was favourably 
received. Merlin moved the previous question ; murmurs arose against him, 
but he explained and demanded the previous question with a preamble to 
this effect, that the Convention could not strip itself of the right of alone 
decreeing respecting its own members. The preamble was adopted, to the 
general satisfaction. 

A scene which occurred in the evening gave still greater notoriety to this 
novel opposition. Tallien and Bourdon, walking in the Tuileries, were 
closely followed by spies of the compnittee of public welfare. At length 
Tallien, indignantly turned round, provoked them, called them base spies of 
"Aie committee, and bade them go and tell their masters what they had 'seen 
and heard. This scene caused a strong sensation. Couthon and Robespierre 
were enraged. Next day they went to the Convention, resolved to complain 
bitterly of the resistance which they experienced. Delacroix and MaJlarm6 
furnished them with occasion to do so. Delacroix desired that those whom 
the law called corrupters of morals should be characterized in a more precise 
manner. Mallarme imjuired what was meant by tliese words ; The law 
gives calumniafed patriots 7io other defender than the con.scicnce of patriot 
jurors. Couthon then ascended the tribune, complained of the amendments 
adopted on the preceding day, and of those which were then proposed, "It 


was slandering the committee of public welfare," he said, "to appear to sup 
pose that it wished to jpave the power of sending members of the Convention 
to the scaffold. That tyrants should calumniate the committee was perfectly 
natural ; but that the Convention itself should listen to the calumny — such 
an injustice was insupportable, and he could not help complaining of it. 
Yesterday a member prided himself on a lucky clamour which proved that 
liberty was imperishable, as if Jjiberty had been threatened. The moment 
when the members of the committee were absent was chosen for making this 
attack. Such conduct," added Couthon, " is unmanly, and I propose to 
rescind the amendments adopted yesterday, and those which have just been 
submitted to-day." Bourdon replied, that to demand explanations concern- 
ing a law was not a crime ; thai, if he prided himself on a clamour, it»was 
because he was pleased to find himself in unison with the Convention ; that, 
if tlie same acrimony were to be shown on both sides, discussion would be 
impossible. "I am accused," said he, "of talking like Pitt and Coburg. 
"Were I to reply in the same spirit, where should we be ? I esteem Couthon, 
I esteem the committees, I esteem the Mountain, which has saved liberty." 

These explanations of Bourdon's were applauded ; but they were excuses, 
and the authority of the dictators was still too strong to be unreservedly de- 
fied. Robespierre then addressed the Assembly in a prolix speech full of 
pride and bitterness. " Mountaineers !" said he, " you will still be the bul- 
wark of the public liberty, but you have nothing in common with the intri- 
guers and the perverse, whoever they be. If they strive to thrust themselves 
among you, they are not the less strangers to your principles. Suffer not 
intriguers, each more despicable than the other, because more hypocritical, 
to attempt to misguide a portion of you, and to set themselves up as leaders 
of a party." Bourdon of the Oise here interrupted Robespierre, saying that 
he had never attempted to set himself up for the leader of a party. Robes- 
pierre without answering him proceeded thus : "It would be the height of 
disgrace, if calumniators, leading astray our colleagues — " Bourdon again 
interrupted him. " I insist," said he, " that the speaker prove what he is 
advancing; he has asserted in plain terms that I am a villain." — "I have not 
named Bourdon," replied Robespierre ; "wo be to him who names himself! 
Yes, the Mountain is pure, it is sublime ; intriguers belong not to the Moun- 
tain." Robespierre then expatiated at great length on the efforts which had 
been made to frighten the members of the Convention, and to persuade them 
that they were in danger. He said that it was the guilty only who were 
thus alarmed, and who strove to alarm others. He then related what had 
occurred the preceding evening between Tallien and the spies, whom he 
called ihe messengers of the committee. This recital drew very warm ex- 
planations from Tallien, and brought upon the latter abundance of abuse. At 
length, all these discussions terminated in the adoption of the demands made 
by Couthon and Robespierre.* The amendments of tlie preceding day were 
rescinded, those of that day rejected, and the horrible law of the 22d was left 
in its original state. 

The leaders of the committee were once more triumphant. Their adver- 
saries trembled. Tallien, Bourdon, Ruamps, Delacroix, Mallanne, and all 
those who had made objections to the law, gave themselves up for lost, and 

* "Robespierre had at this critical period a prodigious force at his disposal. The lowest 
orders, who saw the Revolution in his person, supported him as the best representative of 
their doctrines and interests ; the armed force of Paris was at his beck ; he ruled with 
absolute sway at the Jacobins; and all important plac«a were (iUed with his creatures." — 
mgnet. £. 



feared every moment that they should be arrested. Though a previous de- 
cree of the Convention was still necessary for placing a member under accu- 
sation, it was stiU so intimidated, tliat it was likely to grant whatever should 
be demanded of it. It had issued a decree against Danton ; it was to be 
presumed that it would not hesitate to issue another against such of his 
friends as survived him. A report was soon circulated that the list was 
drawn up, and the number of the victims was stated to be twelve, and after- 
wards eighteen. Their names were mentioned. The alarm soon spread, 
and more than sixty members of the Convention ceased to sleep at their 
own homes. 

There was, nevertheless, an obstacle which prevented their lives from being 
disposed of so easily as they apprehended. We have already seen that 
Billaud-Varennes, Collot, and Barrere, had replied coldly to the first com- 
plaints of Robespierre against his colleagues. The members of the committee 
of general safety were more adverse to hiin than ever, for they were to be 
kept aloof from all co-operation in the law of the 22d, and it even appears 
that some of them were threatened. Robespierre and Couthon carried their 
aemands to a great length. They were for sacrificing a great number of 
deputies ; they talked of Tallien, Bourdon of the Oise, Thuriot, Rovere, Le- 
cointre, Panis, Monestier, Legendre, Freron, Barras. They wanted even 
Cambon, whose financial reputation annoyed them, and who had seemed 
adverse to their cruelties ; lastly, they meant to include in their vengeance 
several of the stanchest members of the Mountain, as Duval, Audouin, and 
Leonard Bourdon.* The members of the committee of public welfare, Bil- 
laud, Collot, and Barrere, and all those of the committee of general safety, 
refused their assent. The danger, now extending to so great a number of 
lives, might very soon threaten their own. 

They werg in this hostile position, witlx not the slightest inclination to 
agree to a new sacrifice, when another circumstance produced a definitive 
rupture. The committee of general safety had discovered the meetings that 
were held at the house of Catherine Theot. They had learned that this ex- 
travagant sect regarded Robespierre as a prophet, and that tlie latter had given 
a certificate of civism to Dom Gerle. Vadier, Vouland, Jagot, and Amar, 
immediately resolved to revenge themselves, by representing this sect as an 
assemblage of dangerous conspirators, by denouncing it to the Convention, 
and by thus throwing upon Robespierre a share of the ridicule and odium 
which would attach to it. They sent an agent named Seuart, who, pretend- 
ing to be desirous of becoming a member of the society, was admitted to one 
of its meetings. In the midst of the ceremony, he stepped to a window, 
gave a signal to the armed force, and caused almost the whole sect to be se- 
cured. Dom Gerle and Catherine Theot were apprehended. Upon Dom Gerle 
was found the certificate of civism given him l^ Robespierre, and in the bed 
of the mother of God was discovered a letter written by her to her beloved 
son, to the chief prophet, to Robespierre. 

When Robespierre learned that proceedings were about to be instituted 
against the sect, he opposed that course, and provoked a discussion on this 
subject in the committee of public welfare. We have already seen that Bil- 
laud and Collot were not very favourably disposed towards deism, and tliat 
they viewed with umbrage the political use which Robespierre wished to 
make of that creed. They were for the prosecution. Upon Robespierre 
persisting in his endeavours to prevent it, the discussion grew extremely 

* Bee the list given by Villate in his Memoirs. 


warm. He had to endure the most abusive language, failed to carry his 
point, and retired weeping with rage. The quarrel had been so vehement, 
that, lest they should be overheard by persons passing through the galleries, 
the members of the committee resolved to adjourn their sitting to the floor 
above. The report on tlie sect of Catherine Theot was presented to the Con- 
vention. Barrere, in order to revenge himself in his own way on Robespierre, 
had secretly drawn up the report, which Vouland was to read. The sect wan 
thus rendered equally ridiculous and atrocious. The Convention, horror- 
stricken by some parts of the report, at others diverted by tlie picture drawn 
by Barrere, decreed tlie accusation of the principal leaders of the sect, and 
sent them to the revolutionary tribunal. 

Robespierre, indignant at the resistance which he had experienced and the 
insulting language used towards him, resolved to cease attending the com- 
mittee and to take no further part in its deliberations. He withdrew to- 
wards the end of Prairial (the middle of June). This secession proves of 
•what nature his ambition was. An arnbitious man never betrays ill-humour; 
he is irritated by obstacles, seizes the supreme power, and crushes those who 
liave affronted him. A weak and vain declaimer is pettish and gives way 
when he ceases to meet with either flattery or respect. Danton retired from 
indolence and disgust, Robespierre from wounded vanity. His retirement 
proved as fatal to him as that of Danton.* Couthon was left alone against 
Billaud-Varennes, Collot-d'Herbois, and Barrere, and these latter were about 
to seize the helm of affairs. 

These divisions were not yet bruited abroad. People only knew that the 
committees of public welfare and of general safety were at variance. They 
were delighted at this misunderstanding, and hoped that it would prevent 
fresh proscriptions. Those who were threatened, courted, flattered, implored 
the committee of general safety, and had even received the most cheering 
promises from some of its members; Elie Lacoste,t Moyse Bayle, Lavicom- 

• " Robespierre now in his retirement began to sink beneath the weight of a part greatly 
superior to his talents. New vices, foreign to his temper, but superinduced by the perturba- 
tion of bis mind, added to the perplexity that bewildered him. That man whose heart was, 
I believe, never moved by the voice or appearance of a woman, latterly abandoned himself to 
debauchery. Often stretched out in a park, the proprietor of which had been his victim, and 
surrounded by the most degraded women, he sought the gratification of his sensual appetites. 
How many torments surrounded Robespierre in his asylum, the papers there found attest. 
He received a multitude of letters expressive of the wildest adoration ; but others contained 
imprecations that must have congealed his blood. Read these appalling words that were 
addressed to him ! ' This hand that writes thy doom — this hand which thy bewildered eye 
seeks in vain — this hand that presses thine with horror — this hand shall pierce thy heart ! 
Every day I am with thee — every day I see thee — at every hour my uplifted arm seeks thy 
bieast Vilest of men! live still awhile to think of me. Sleep to dream of me! let my image 
and thy fear be the first prelude of thy punishment ! Farewell ! This very day, on beholding 
thee, I shall gloat over thy terrors !' " — LacretelU. E. 

•j- "Lacoste, minister of the marine in 1792, was, before the Revolution, head clerk in the 
navy office. Having attached himself to the Jacobins, he gave great displeasure to the royal- 
ists, who looked on him as a coarse and violent man. His enemies, however, confess that 
Lacoste was a worthy man, who, while following the Revolution, detested its excesses. In 
the year 1800 Bonaparte gave him a scat in the council of captures, which he still held in 
1806," — Biographic Modeme. E. 

♦ "L. Lavicomterie, a writer, was deputy to the Convention, where he voted for the 
King's death. He was afterwards a member of the committee of general safety during the 
Reign of Terror, and participated in the proceedings of the members of the government. 
Some time after the fall of Robespierre he presented a statement on morality considered as a 
calculation ; in this he insisted that the idea of a retributive and avenging God was absurd, 
that the human race would be eternal, and that men had no punishments to fear, no rewards 



terie,:j: and Dubarran, the best of the members of tlie committee of general 
safety, had promised to refuse their signature to any new list of proscription. 

Amidst these dissensions, the Jacobins were still devoted to Robespierre. 
They made as yet no distinction between the different members of tlae com- 
mittee, between Couthon, Robespierre, and St. Just, on the one hand, and 
Billaud-Varennes, Collot, and Barrere, on the other. They saw only the 
revolutionary government on one side, and on the other some relics of the 
faction of tlie indulgents, some friends of Danton's, who, on occasion of the 
law of the 22d Prairial, had opposed that salutary government. Robespierre, 
who had defended that government in defending tlie law, was still in their 
estimation the first and the greatest citizen of the republic ; all the others 
were but intriguers, who must be completely destroyed. Accordingly, they 
did not fail to exclude Tallien from their committee of correspondence, be- 
cause he had not replied to the accusations preferred against him on the sit- 
ting of the 24th. From that day, Collot and Billaud-Varennes, aware of 
Robespierre's influence, abstained from appearing at the Jacobins. What 
could they have said ? They could not have exposed their solely personal 
grievances, and made the public judge between their pride and that of Robes- 
pierre. All they could do was to be silent and to wait. Robespierre and 
Couthon had therefore an open field. 

The rumour of a new proscription having produced a dangerous effect, 
Couthon hastened to disavow before the society the designs imputed to them 
against twenty-four, and even sixty, members of the Convention. «' The 
spirits of Danton, Hebert, and Chaumette, still walk among us," said he ; 
" they still seek to perpetuate discord and division. What passed in the 
sitting of the 24th is a striking instance of this. People strive to divide the 
government, to discredit its members, by painting them as Syllas and Neros ; 
they deliberate in secret, they meet, they form pretended lists of proscrip- 
tion, tliey alarm the citizens in order to make them enemies to the public 
authority. A few days ago, it was reported that the committees intended 
to order the arrest of eighteen members of the Convention ; nay, they were 
even mentioned by name. Do not believe these perfidious insinuations. 
Those who circulate such rumours arc accomplices of Hebert's and of Dan- 
ton's ; they dread the punishment of their guilty conduct ; they seek to clin^ 
to pure men, in the hope that, whilst hidden behind them, they may easily 
escape the eye of justice. But be of good cheer; tlie number of the guilty 
is happily very small ; it amounts but to four or six, perhaps ; and they shall 
be struck, for the time is come for delivering the republic from the last ene- 
mies who are conspiring against it. Rely for its salvation on the energy and 
the justice of the committees." 

It was judicious to reduce to a small number the proscribed persons whom 
Robespierre intended to strike. The Jacobins applauded, as usual, the 
speech of Couthon ; but that speech tended not to cheer any of the threatened 
victims, and those who considered themselves in danger continued neverthe- 
less to sleep from home. Never had the terror been greater, not only in the 
Convention, but in the prisons and throughout France. 

The cruel agents of Robespierre, Foiiqujer-Tinvillc, the accuser, and Du- 
mas the president, had taken up the law of the 22d of Prairial, and were 
preparing to avail tliemselves of it for the purpose of committing fresh atro- 

to hope, bejond the present world. In 1 798 Lavicomterie obtained a place in the office foi 
regulating the registers, but was afterwarda diamisaed, and lived in obscurity at Paria." — 
Biographic Modeme. E. 



cities in the prisons. Very soon, said Fouquier, tliere shall be put up on 
their doors bills of This house to let. The plan was to get rid of tlie 
g^reater part of the suspected persons. People had accustomed themselves 
to consider these latter as irreconcilable enemies, whom it was necessary to 
destroy for the welfare of the republic. To sacrifice tliousands of individuals, 
whose only fault was to think in a certain maner, nay, whose opinions were 
frequenUy precisely the same as tliose of their persecutors, — to sacrifice them 
seemed a perfectly natural Uiing, from the habit which people had acquired 
of destroying one another. The facility with which they put others to deatli 
or encountered death themselves,* had become extraordinary. In the field 
of battle, on the scaffold, thousands perished daily, and nobody was any 
longer shocked at it.t The first murders committed in 1793 proceeded from 
a real irritation caused by danger. Such perils had now ceased ; the repub- 
lic was victorious ; people now slaughtered not from indignation, but from 
the atrocious habit which they had contracted. That formidable machine, 
which they had been obliged to construct in order to withstand enemies of 
all kinds, began to be no longer necessary; but once set a going, they knew 
not how to stop it. Every government must have its excess, and does not 
perish till it has attained that excess. The revolutionary government was 
not destined to finish on tlie same day that all the enemies of the republic 
should be sufliciently terrified ; it was destined to go beyond that point, and 
to exercise itself till it had become generally disgusting by its very atrocity. 
Such is the invariable course of human affairs. Why had atrocious circum- 
stances compelled the creation of a government of blood, which was to reign 
and vanquish solely by inflicting death ? 

A still more frightful circumstance is that, when the signal is given, when 
the idea is established that lives must be sacrificed, all dispose themselves 
for this horrid purpose with an extraordinary facility. Every one acts with- 
out remorse, without repugnance. People accustom themselves to tliis, like 
the judge who condemns criminals to death, like the surgeon who sees 
beings writhing under his instrument, like the general who orders the sacri- 
fice of twenty thousand soldiers. They frame a horrid language according 
to their new operations ; they contrive even to render it gay; they invent 
striking words to express sanguinary ideas. Every one, stunned and hur- 
ried along, keeps pace with the mass ; and men who were yesterday en- 
gaged in the peaceful occupations of the arts and commerce, are to day seen 
applying themselves with the same facility to the work of death and de- 

The committee had given the signal by the law of the 22d. Dumas and 
Fouquier had but too w'ell understood it. It was necessary, however, to 
find pretexts for immolating so many victims. What crime could be im- 
]Mted to them, when most of them were peaceful, unknown citizens, who had 
never given any sign of life to the state? It was conceived that, being con- 

• " During the latter part of the French Revolution, it became a fashion to leave some 
' mot' as a legacy; and tlie quantity of facetious last words spoken during that period would 
form a melancholy jest-book of considerable size." — Lord Byron. E. 

" One prisoner alone raised piteous cries on the chariot, and struggled, in a perfect freniy 
of terror, with the executioners on the scaffold — it was the notorious Madame du Barri, the 
associate of the licentious pleasures of Louis XV." — Lucretelle. E. 

f " One of the most extraordinary features of these terrible times was the universal duh 
position which the better classes both in Paris and the provinces evinced to bury anxiety in 
the dtliriuni of present enjoyment. The people who had escaped death went to the opera 
daily, with equal unconcern whether thirty or a hundred heads had fallen during the day." 
— Alison. E. 


fined in the prisons they would think how to get out of them, that their num 
ber was likely to inspire them with a feeling of their strength, and to suggest 
to them the idea of exerting it for their escape. The pretended conspiracy 
of Dillon was the germ of tliis idea, which was developed in an atrocious 
manner. Some wretches among the prisoners consented to act the infamous 
part of informers. They'pointed out in the Luxembourg one hundred and 
sixty prisoners, who, they said, had been concerned in Dillon's plot. Some 
of these listmakers were procured in all the other places of confinement, 
and they denounced in each one or two hundred persons as accomplices in 
the conspiracy of the prisons. An attempt at escape made at La Force 
served but to authorize this unworthy fable, and hundreds of unfortunate 
creatures began immediately to be sent to the revolutionary tribunal. They 
were transferred from the various prisons to the Conciergerie to be thence 
taken to the tribunal and to the scaffold. In the night between the 18th and 
10th of Messidor (June 6), the one hundred and sixty persons denounced 
at the Luxembourg were transferred. They trembled on hearing themselves 
called : they knew not what was laid to their charge, but they regarded it 
as most probable that death was reserved for them. The odious Fouquier, 
since he had been furnished with the law of the 22d, had made great changes 
in the hall of the tribunal. Instead of the seats for the advocates and the 
bench appropriated to the accused and capable of holding eighteen or twenty 
persons, an amphitheatre, that would contain one hundred or one hundred 
and fifty accused at a time was by his order constructed. This he called his 
little seats. Carrying his atrocious activity still furtner, he had even caused 
a scaffold to be erected in the very hall of the tribunal, and he proposed to 
have the one hundred and sixty accused in the Luxembourg tried at one and 
the same sitting. 

The committee of public welfare, when informed of the kind of mania 
which had seized its public accuser, sent for him, ordered him to remove 
the scaffold from the hall in which it was set up, and forbade him to bring 
sixty persons to trial at once. " What !" said Collot-d'Herbois in a trans- 
port of indignation, '• wouldst thou then demoralize death itself?" It should, 
however, be remarked that Fouquier asserted the contrary, and maintained 
that it was he who demanded the trial of the one hundred and sixty in three 
divisions. Everything proves, on the contrary, that it was the committee 
which was less extravagant than their minister, and checked his mad pro- 
ceedings. They were obliged to repeat the order to Fouquier-Tinville to 
remove the guillotine from the hall of the tribunal. 

The one hundred and sixty were divided into three companies, tried, and 
executed in three days. The proceedings were as expeditious and as fright- 
ful as those adopted in the Abbaye on the nights of the 2d and 3d of Sep- 
tember. Carts ordered for every day were waiting from the morning in tl^ 
court of the Palace of Justice, and the accused could see them as they went 
up stairs to the tribunal. Dumas, the president, sitting like a maniac, had a 
pair of pistols on the table before him. He merely asked the accused their 
names, and added some very general question. In the examination of the 
one hundred and sixty, the president said to one of them, Dorival, " Do you 
know any thing of the conspiracy?" " No." " I expected that you would 
give that answer: but it shall not avail you. AnoUier." He addressed 
a person named Champigny, " Are you not an ex-noble ?" " Yes." 
♦♦ Another." To Gudrcville, " Are you a priest ?" " Yes ; but I have taken 
the oath." ♦' You have no right to speak. Another." To a man named 
Menil, •' Were you not servant to the ex-constituent Menou ?" " Yes." 


"Another." To Vely, " Were you not architect to Madame ?" "Yes; 
but I was dismissed in 1788." " Another." To Gondrecourt, •' Had you 
not your father-in-law at the Luxembourg ?" "Yes." "Anotlier." To 
Durfort, " Were you not in the life-guard ?" " Yes ; but I was disbanded 
in 1789." " Another." 

Such was the summary mode of proceeding with these unfortunate per- 
sons.* According to the law, the testimony of witnesses was to be dis- 
pensed with only when there existed material or moral proofs ; nevertheless, 
no witnesses were called, as it was alleged that proofs of this kind existed 
in every case. The jurors did not take the trouble to retire to the consulta- 
tion-room. They gave their opinions before the atidience, and sentence was 
immediately pronounced. The accused had scarcely time to rise and to men- 
tion their names. One day, there was a prisoner whose name was not upon 
the list of the accused, and who said to the Court, " I am not accused ; my 
name is not on your list." " What signifies that?" said Fouquier, " give 
it quick !" He gave it, and was sent to the scaffold like the others. The 
utmost negligence prevailed in this kind of barbarous administration. Some- 
times, owing to the extreme precipitation, the acts of accusation were not 
delivered to the accused till they were before the tribunal. The most extra- 
ordinary blunders were committed. A worthy old man, Loizerolles, heard 
along with his own surname the Christian names of his son called over: he 
forbore to remonstrate, and was sent to the scaffold. Some time afterwards 
the son was brought to trial ; it was found that he ought not to be alive, since a 
person answering to all his names had been executed : it was his father. 
He was nevertheless put to death. More than once victims were called long 
after they had perished. There were hundreds of acts of accusation quite 
ready, to which there was nothing to add but the designation of the indivi- 
duals. The trials were conducted in like manner. The printing-office was 
contiguous to the hall of the tribunal : the forms were kept standing, the 
title, the motives, were ready composed ; there was nothing but the names 
to be added. These were handed through a small loophole to the overseer. 
Thousands of copies were immediately worked, and plunged families into 
mourning and struck terror into the prisons. The hawkers came to sell the 
bulletin of the tribunal under the prisoners' windows, crying, " Here are the 
names of those who have gained prizes in the lottery of St. Guillotine." 
The accused were executed on the breaking up of the court, or at latest on 
the morrow, if the day was too far advanced.! 

* " T^e judges of the revolutionary tribunal, many of whom came from the galleys of 
Toulon, laboured incessantly at the work of extermination, and mingled indecent ribaldry 
and jests with their unrelenting cruelty to the crowds of captives who were brought before 
them. An old man, who had lost the use of his speech by a paralytic affection, being placed 
at the bar, the president exclaimed, ' No matter, it is not his tongue, but his head that we 
want.' "—Aliion. E. 

■j- The following anecdote, recorded by Prudhomme, will convey an idea of the summaiy 
way in which people were tried and executed at this periwl. M. de Fieury, who was con- 
fined in the Luxembourg in the year 1794, wrote the following note to Dumas, president 
of the revolutionary tribunal : " Man of blood, thou hast murdered my family ; ihou wilt 
condemn to the scaffold those who this day appear at thy tribunal; thou mayest condemn 
me to the same fate, for I declare to thee that I participate in their sentiments." Fouquier- 
Tinville was with Dumas when he received this letter. " Here," said Dumas, " is a billet- 
doux — read it" — " This gentleman," replied Fouquier, " is in a great hurry ; he must be 
satisfied." He immediately issued orders to bring him from his prison. About noon M. de 
rieury arrived at the tribunal, was tried, condenuied in an hour as the accomplice of persons 
be had never known, and immediately sent to the scaffold, covered with a red shirt, bke the 
man who bad aUempled to murder CoUotrd'Herbois. 

VOL. III. — 9 r 2 


Ever since the passing of the law of the 22d of Prairial, victims perished 
at the rate of fifty or sixty a day. " That goes well," said Fouquier-Tin- 
ville ; " heads fall like tiles :" and he added, " It must go better still next 
decade ; I must have four hundred and fifty at least."* For this purpose 
there were given what were called orders to the wretches who undertook the 
office of spies upon the suspected. These wretches had become the terror 
of the prisons. Confined as suspected persons, it was not exactly known 
which of them it was who undertook to mark out victims ; but it whs infer- 
red from their insolence, from the preference shown them by the gaolers, 
from the orgies which they held in the lodges with the agents of the police. 
They frequently gave intimation of their importance in order to traffic with 
it. They were caressed, implored, by the trembling prisoners ; they even 
received sums of money not to put their names upon their lists. These 
they made up at random : they said of one that he had used aristocratic lan- 
guage ; of another, that he had drunk on a certain day when a defeat of ihe 
armies was announced ; and their mere designation was equivalent to a death- 
warrant. The names which they had furnished were inserted in so many 
acts of accusation ; these acts were notified in the evening to the prisoners, 
and they were removed to the Conciergerie. This was called in the lan- 
guage of the gaolers the evening journal. When those unfortunate crea- 
tures heard the rolling of the tumbrels which came to fetch them, they were 
in an agony as cruel as that of death. They ran to the gates, dung to the 
bars to listen to the list, and trembled lest their name should be pronounced 
by the messenger. When they were named, they embraced their compa- 
nions in misfortune, and took a last leave of them. Most painful separations 
were frequently witnessed — a father parting from his children, a husband 
from his wife. Those who survived were as wretched as those who were 
conducted to the den of Fouquier-Tinville. They went back expecting 
soon to rejoin their relatives. When the fatal list was finished, the prison- 
ers breathed more freely, but only till the following day. Their anguish was 
then renewed, and the rolling of the carts brought fresh terror along with it. 

The public pity began to be expressed in a way that gave some uneasiness 
to the exterminators. The shopkeepers in the rue St. Honore, through 
which the carts passed every day, shut up their shops. To deprive the vic- 
tims of these signs of mourning, the scaffold was removed to the Harri^re 
du Trone, but not less pity was shown by the labouring people in this quar- 
ter than by the inhabitants of the best streets in Paris.t The populace, in 

• 8ee the long trial of Fouqaier-Tinville for these particolara. 

■j- " It is evident that the better onler of the people of Paris had beffun to be weary oS, if 
not disgusted with, these scenes. The guillotine had been originally plac^ in the Carrroo- 
scl ; it was removed for the execution of the King to the Place Tiouis XV, ; there, at th« 
foot of a plaster statue of liberty, it continued till a few weeks before Robespierre's fall. 
Around the scaflToid were placed rows of chairs, which the passengers hire<l, as at other 
places of public amusement, to witness the operations of the ' holy guillotine.' But even 
of blood the Parisians will tire, and the inhabitants of the adjoining streets, throu(;h which 
the batches were daily trundletl for execution, Itegan to find that there mi.i;ht be too much of 
a good thing. On this, Robespierre transported the guillotine to the other extrenaity of Paris, 
where it was erected near the ruins of the Bastille. But by this time the people of the 
faaxbourg St. Antoine had also become satiated with massacre ; and after the revolutionary 
engine had occupied its new position only four days, and dealt with only sevrnty-four vic- 
tims, it was again removed to an open space near the Barriore dn Tronp. There it stood 
little more than six busy weeks, in which it despatched fourteen hundred and three victims ! 
It was finally cenveyed — for Robespierre's own oae — to its original position, in onler that he 
and his friends might die on the scene of their most remarkable triumphs. These movements 
of the guillotine are indicative of the state of the public mind." — Quarter It/ Review. B. 

iXii-A.-UJLiitL J) JS Jj J. Xi jfA JJ Jdj .i -ill , 


a inomeiii of intoxication, may have no feeling for the victims whom it 
slaughters itself, but, when it daily witnesses the death of fifty or sixty 
unfortunate persons, against whom it is not excited by rage, it soon begins to 
be softened. This pity, however, was still silent and timid. All the dis- 
tinguished persons confined in tlie prisons had fallen : the unfortunate sister 
of Louis XVI.* had been immolated in her turn ; and Death was already 
descending from the upper to the lower classes of society. We find at this 
period on the list of the revolutionary tribunal, tailors, shoemakers, hair- 
dressers, butchers, farmers, publicans, nay, even labouring men, condemned 
for sentiments and language held to be counter-revolutionary ,t To convey, 
in short, an idea of the number of executions at this period, it will be suffi- 
cient to state that, between the month of March, 1793, when the tribunal 
commenced its operations, and the month of June, 1794 (22 Prairial, year 
II), five hundred and seventy-seven persons had been condemned; and that, 
from the 10th of June (22 Prairial) to the 17th of July (9 Thermidor) it 

* " The Princess Elizabeth appeared before ber judges with a placid countenance, and 
listened to the sentence of death with unabated firmness. As she passed to the place of ex- 
ecution, her handkerchief fell from her neck, and exposed her in this situation to the eyes 
of the multitude; whereupon she said to the executioner, 'In the name of modesty I entreat 
you to cover my bosom.' " — Du Broea. EL 

f " Jean Jullen, wagoner, having been sentenced to twelve years' bard labour, took it into 
his head (s'avisa) to cry Vive le Roif was brought back before the tribunal and condemned 
to death, September 1792. 

" Jean Baptiste Henry, aged eighteen, journeyman tailor, convicted of having sawed a tree 
of liberty; executed the 6th September, 1793. 

"Bernard Augustin d'Absac, aged fifty-one, ex-noble, late captain in the 11th regiment, 
and formerly in the sea-service, convicted of having betrayed several towns and several ships 
into the hands of the enemy, was condemned to death on the 10th January, 1794, and ex- 
ecuted the same day. 

" Stephen Thomas Ogie Baulny, aged forty-six, ex-noble, convicted of having intrusted 
his son, aged fourteen, to a garde du corps, in order that he might emigrate. Condemned 
to death Slst January, 1794, and executed the same day. 

" Henriette Fran9oise de Marboeuf, aged fifty-five, widow of the ci-devant Marquis de Mar- 
boeuf, residing at No. 47, rue St. Honorc, in Paris, convicted of having hoped for (desire) 
the arrival of the Austrians and Prussians, and of keeping provisions fur them. Condemned 
to death the 5th February, 1794, and executed the same day. 

" Jacques de Baume, a Dutch merchant, convicted of being the author and accomplice of 
a plot which existed in the month of June, 1790, tending to encourage our external and in- 
ternal enemies, by negotiating by way of loan, certain bonds of 100/. each, bearing interest 
at 5 per cent, of George, Prince of Wales, Frederick, Duke of York, and William Henry, 
Duke of Clarence. Executed the 14th February, 1794. 

"Jacques Duchesne, aged sixty, formerly a servant, since a broker; Jean Sauvage, aged 
thirty-four, gunsmith ; Franf oise Loizelier, aged forty-seven, milliner ; Melanie Cunosse, 
aged twenty-one, milliner ; Marie Magdalene Virolle, aged twenty-five, female hair-dresser ; 
— convicted of having, in the city of Paris, where they resided, composed writings, stuck bills, 
and pousse de cris [the sanguinary code of England has no corresponding name for this 
capital offence], were all condemned to death the 5lh May, 1794, and executed the same day. 

" Genevieve Gouvon, aged seventy-seven, seamstress, convicted of having been the author 
or accomplice of various conspiracies formed since the beginning of the Revolution by the 
enemies of the people and of liberty, tending to create civil war, to paralyze the public, and 
to annihilate the existing government Condemned to death Uth May, 179.3, and executed 
the same day. 

" Fran9oise Bertrand, aged thirty-seven, tinman and publican at I^eure, in the department 
of the Cote-d'Or, convicted of having furnished to the defenders of the country sottr wine 
injurious to the health of citizens, was condemned to death at Paris 15th May, 1793, and 
executed the came day. 

" Marie Angelique Plaisant, seamstress at Douai, convicted of having exclaimed that she 
was an aristocrat, and ^A fig for the nation.' Condemned to death at Paris the 19th July, 
1794, and executed the same day." — Extract* from the Liite Generate tk» Condamn4$. E. 



condemned one thousand two hundred and eighty-five; so that the total 
number of victims up to the 9th of Thermidor amounts to one thousand 
eight hundred and sixty-two.* 

The sanguinary agents of these executions, however, were not easy, 
Dumas was perturbed, and Fouquier durst not go out at night; he beheld 
the relatives of his victims ever ready to despatch him. In passing with 
Senard through the wickets of the Louvre, he was alarmed by a slight noise ; 
it was caused by a person passing close to him. " Had I been alone," said 
he, "some accident would have happened to me." 

• "Numbers condemned by the RevoluHonaryTnbunal of Paris in each month, from its 
first institution {17 th of August, 1792) to the fall of Robespierre {21th of July, 1793). 
1792. August, ... 3 victims. 
September, . . .4 



[Tribunal remodelled in March, 1793.] 
April, .... 9 

May 9 

June, . . . .14 
July 13 

[Robespierre elected into the Committee of Public Safety.] 

August, ... 5 

September, . . .16 

October, ... 60 including Bristoi, &c. 

November, . . .53 

December, ... 73 

January, . . .83 

February, ... 7.^ 

March, . . . 123 including Hebert, &c. 

April, .... 263 including Danton, 6cc. 

May, ... 324 

June 672 

July, . . . 835 exc/tmve of Robespierre and his accomplices. 
" To the foregoing astonishing account of the monthly executions, we think it worth whil* 
to add the daily detail of the two last months : 












. 13 


. 22 


. 35 

2 . 




22 . 



. 32 


. 33 


. 19 

4 . 




34 . 



. 6 


. 19 


. 44 

6 . 




26 . 



. 21 


. 61 


. 30 

ft . 




38 . 



. 22 


. 15 


. 30 

10 . 





30 . 








. 23 


. 44 


. 38 

2 . 




20 . 



. 19 


. 28 


. 38 

4 . 




28 . 



. 28 


. — 


. 55 

« . 




24 . 



. 67 


. 30 


. 38 

8 . 




36 . 



. 60 


. Deeadi. 


. 43" 

—Quarterly Review. E. 


In the principal cities of France terror reigned as absolutely as in Paris. 
Carrier* liad been sent tq Nantes to punish La Vendee in that town. Gar- 
ner, still a young man, was one of those inferior and violent spirits, who, in 
the excitement of civil wars, become monsters of cruelty and extravagance. 
He declared immediately after his arrival 'at Nantes, that, notwithstanding 
the promise of pardon made to the Vendeans who should lay down tlieir 
arms, no quarter ought to be given to them, but they must all be put to death. 
The constituted authorities having hinted at the necessity of keeping faith 
with the rebels, "You are j . . . f . . . ," said Carrier to them, "you don't 
understand your trade; I will send you all to the guillotine;" and he began 
by causing the wretched creatures who surrendered to be mowed down by 
musketry and grapeshot, in parties of one and two hundred. He appeared 
at the popular society, sword in hand, abusive language pouring from his 
lips, and always threatening with the guillotine. It was not long before he 
took a dislike to that society, and caused it to be dissolved. He intimidated 
the auihorities to such a degree that they durst no longer appear before him. 
One day, when they came to consult with him on the subject of provisions, 
he replied to the municipal officers that that was no affair of his; that he had 
no time to attend to their fooleries ; and that the first blackguard who talked 
to him about provisions should have his head struck off. This frantic 
wretch imagined that he had no other mission than to slaughter. 

He resolved to punish at one and the same time the Vendean rebels and 
the federalists of Nantes, who had attempted a movement in favour of the 
Girondins, after the siege of their city. The unfortunate people who had 
escaped the disasters of Mans and Savenai were daily arriving in crowds, 
driven by the armies which pressed them closely on all sides. Carrier 
ordered them to be confined in the prisons of Nantes, and had thus collected 
nearly ten thousand. He had then formed a band of murderers, wlio scoured 
the adjacent country, stopped the Nantese families, and added rapine to 
cruelty. Carrier had at first instituted a revolutionary commission for try- 
ing the Vendeans and the Nantese. He caused the Vendeans to be shot, 
and the Nantese suspected of federalism or royalism to be guillotined. He 
soon found this formality too tedious, and the expedient of shooting attended 
with inconveniences. This mode of execution was slow ; it was trouble- 
some to bury the bodies. They were frequently left on the scene of carnage, 
and infected the air to such a degree as to produce an epidemic disease in 
the town. The Loire, which runs through Nantes, suggested a horrible 
idea to Carrier, namely, to rid himself of the prisoners by drowning them 
in that river. He made a first trial, loaded a barge with ninety priests, upon 
pretext of transporting them to some other place, and ordered it to be sunk 
when at some distance from the city. Having devised this expedient, he 
resolved to employ it on a large scale. He no longer employed the mock 
formality of sending the prisoners before a commission : he ordered them to 
be taken in the night out of the prisons in parties of one and two hundred, 
and put into boats. By these boats they were carried to small vessels pre- 

• "Jean Baptiste Carrier, born in 1756, and an obscure attorney at the beginning of the 
Revolution, was deputed in 1792, to the Convention, aided in the establishment of the revo- 
lutionary tribunal, and exhibited the wildest rage for persecution. He voted for the King's 
death, and, in 1793, was sent to Nantes with a commission to suppress tlie civil war by 
severity, which he exercised in the most atrocious manner. After the fall of Robespierre, 
Carrier was apprehended, and condemned to death in 1 794." — Encyctopiedia Ameticana. E. 

"This Carrier might have summoned hell to match his cruelty without ■ demon veatuhog 
t» snswer his challenge." — Scott's Life of Napoleon. E. 



pared for this horrible purpose. The miserable %rretche8 were thrown into 
the hold ; the hatches were nailed down ; the avenues to the deck were 
closed with planks ; the executioners then got into the boats, and carpenters 
cut holes with hatchets in the sides of the vessels, and sunk them. In this 
frightful manner four or five thousand persons were destroyed. Carrier 
rejoiced at having discovered a more expeditious and more wholesome way 
to deliver the republic from its enemies. He drowned not only men, but 
also a great number of women and children.* When the Vendean families 
were dispersed, after the catastrophe of Savenai, a great number of Nantese 
had taken children of theirs, with the intention of bringing them up. " They 
are wolf whelps," said Carrier, and he ordered them to be restored to the 
republic. Most of these unfortunate children were drowned. 

The Loire was covered with dead bodies. Ships, in weighing anchort 
sometimes raised boats filled with drowned persons. Birds of prey flocked 
to the banks of the river, and gorged themselves with human flesh.t The 
fish, feasting upon a food which rendered them unwholesome, were forbid- 
den by the municipality to be caught. To these horrors were added those 
of a contagious disease and dearth. In this disastrous situation. Carrier, 
still boiling with rage, forbade the slightest emotion of pity, seized by the 
collar and threatened with his sword those who came to speak to him, and 
caused bills to be posted, stating that whoever presumed to solicit on behalf 
of any person in confinement should be thrown into prison himself. For- 
tunately, he was superseded by the committee of public welfare, which 
desired extermination, but without extravagance.^ The number of Carrier's 
victims is computed at four or five thousand. § Most of them were Vendeans. 

* The Marchioness de Larochejaquelein has givea some striking detail* respecting 
atrocious massacres, from which we extract the following : " Madame de Bonchamp had 
procured a small boat, and attempted to cross the Loire with her two children. The armed 
vessels fired upon her, and a cannon-hall went through the boat ; yet ?he reached the other 
side, and some peasants swam after, an<l saved her. She then remained concealed on a farm, 
and was often obliged to resort to a hollow tree for safety. In this forlorn situation the 
•mall-pox attacked her and her children, and her son died. At the end of throe months she 
was discovered, conveyed to Nantes, and condemned to death. She had resigned herself to 
her fate, when she read on a slip of paper, handed to her through the grate of her dungeon, 
these words — ' Say you are with child.' She did so, and her execution was suspended. 
Her husband having been dead a long time, she was obliged to say that the child belonged 
to a republican soldier. She remained shut up, and every day saw some unfortunate woman ^ 
go to execution, who had been deposited the evening before in her dungeon, after reoarriog 
■entence. At the end of three months, it being evident she was not pregnant, she WM 
ordered for execution, but obtained again two months and a half as a last respite, when the 
death of Robespierre saved her. — Madame de Jourdain was taken to the Loire to be drowned 
with her three daughters. A soldier wished to save the youngest, who was very beautiful ; 
but she, determined to share her mother's fate, threw herself into the water. The unfortu- 
nate girl, falling on dead bodies, did not sink ; she cried out, ' Oh, push me in, I have not 
water enough !' and perished. — .\ horrible death was that of Madame de la Roche St Andr^. 
As she was with child, they spared her till she should be delivered, and then allowed her to 
nurse her infant ; but it died, and the next day she was executed." E. 

■j- Deposition of a captain of a ship on Carrier's trial. 

i "The Emix-ror did Kohespierre the ju.«tice to say that he had seen long letters written 
by him to his brother, who was then with the army in the provinces, in which he warmly 
opposed and disavowed these excesses, declaring that they would disgrace and ruin the Revo« 
iution.'' — Lot Cases. E. 

§ "The miserable victims at Nantea," says Mr. Alison, " were eithw slain with poniards 
in the prisons or carried out in a veaael, and drowned by wholesale in the Loire. On mm 
occasion, a hundred priests were taken out together, stripped of their clothes, and precipi- 
tated into the waves. Women big with child, infants, eight, nine, and ten years of age, 
were thrown together into the stream, on the sides of which men armed with sabre^ wert 


Bordeaux, Marseilles, Toulon, atoned for their federalism. At Toulon, 
Freron and Barras, the representatives, had caused two hundred of the in- 
habitants to be shot, and had punished them for a crime, the real authors of 
which had escaped in the English squadron.* In the department of Vau- 
cluse, Maignet exercised a dictatorship as terrific as tlie other envoys of the 
Convention. He had ordered the village of Bedoing to be burned, on 
account of revolt; and at his request the committee of public welfare had 
instituted at Orange a revolutionary tribunal, the jurisdiction of which 
extended to the whole of tlie South. This tribunal was framed after the 
model of the revolutionary tribunal of Paris, with this difference, that there 
were no jurors, and that five judges condemned, on what were termed 
moral proofs, all the unfortunate persons whom Maignet picked up in his 
excursions. At Lyons, the sanguinary executions ordered by CoUot-d'Herbois 
had ceased. The revolutionary commission had just given an account of 
its proceedings, and furnished the number of the acquitted and of the con- 
demned. One thousand six hundred and eighty-four persons had been 
guillotined or shot. One thousand six hundred and eighty-two had been set 
at liberty by the justice of the commission. 

placed to cut ofif their heads if the waves should throw thera androwned on the shore. On 
one occasion, by orders of Carrier, twenty-three of the royalists — on another, twenty-four, 
were guillotined together without any trial. The cxecuuoner remonstrated, but in vain. 
Among them were many children of seven or eight years of age, and seven women ; the 
executioner died two or three days after with horror of what he himself had done. So great 
was the multitwle of captives who were brought in on all sides, that the executioners 
declared themselves exhausted with fatigue, and a new method of execution was devised. 
Two persons of different sexes, generally an old man and an old woman, bereA of every 
species of dress, were bound together and thrown into the river. It was ascertained by 
authentic documents that six hundred children h^d perished by that inhuman species of 
death ; and such was the quantity of corpses accumulated in the Loire, that the water be- 
caooe infected. The scenes in the prisons which preceded these executions exceeded all 
that romance had figured of the terrible. On one occasion the inspector entered the prison 
to seek for a child, where, the evening before, he had left above three hundred infants ; they 
were all gone in the morning, having been drowned the preceding night. To all the repre- 
sentations of the citiiens in favour' of these innocent victims. Carrier only replied, ' They 
are all vipers, let them be stifled.' Three hundred young women of Nantes were drowned 
by him in one night ; so far from having had any share in the political discussions, they 
were of the unfortunate class who live by the pleasures of others. On another occasion, 
five hundred children of both sexes, the eldest of whom was not fourteen years old, were 
led out to the same spot to be shot The littleness of their stature caused most of the bul- 
lets at the first discharge to fly over their heads ; they broke their bonds, rushed into the 
ranks of the executioners, clung round their knees, and sought for mercy. But nothing 
could soften the assassins. They put them to death even when lying at their feet. One 
woman was delivered of an infant on the quay ; hardly were the agonies of child-birth over, 
when she was pushed, with the new-born innocent, into the fatal boat ! Fifteen thousand 
persons perished at Nantes under the hands of the executioner, or of diseases in prison, in 
one month. The total number of victims of the Reign of Terror in that town exceeded 
thirty thousand !" E. 

• " Barras, Freron, and Robespierre the younger, were chosen to execute the vengeance of 
the Convention on Toulon. Several thousand citizens of every age and sex perished in a few 
weeks by the sword or the guillotine ; two hundred were daily beheaded for a considerable time, 
and twelve thousand labourers were hired to demolish the buildings of the city, .\mong 
those who were struck down in one of the fusiliades was an old man, who was severely but 
not mortally wounded. The executioners conceiving him dead, retired from the scene of 
carnage; and in the darkness of the night he had strength enough left to raise himself from 
the ground and move from the spoL His foot struck against a body, which gave a groan, 
and, stooping down, he discovered that it was his own son ! After the first transjxms of 
joy were over, they crept along the ground, and, favoured by the night and the inebriety 
of the guards, they had the good fortune to escape, and lived to recount a tale which might 
well have paaaed for fiction." — Aliaun. £. 



The North had its proconsul, Joseph Lebon.* He had been a priest, and 
confessed that, in his youth, he should have carried religious fanaticism to 
such a length as to kill his father and mother, had he been enjoined to do so. 
He was a real lunatic, less ferocious perhaps than Carrier, but more decidedly 
insane. From his language, and. from his conduct, it was evident that his 
mind was deranged. He had fixed his principal residence at Arras,t esta- 
blished a tribunal with the approbation of the committee of public welfare, and 
travelled through the departments of the North with his judges and a guillo- 
tine. He had visited St. Pol, St. Omer, Ik-lhune, Bapeaume, Aire, and 
oilier places, and had everywhere left bloody traces of his progress. The 
Auslrians having approached Cambray, and St. Just perceiving, as he 
thought, that the aristocrats of that town were in secret correspondence with 
the enemy, summoned thither Lebon, who, in a few days, sent to the scaf- 
fold a multitude of unfortunate persons, and pretended that he had saved 
Cambray by his firmhess. When Lebon had finished his excursions, he 
returned to Arras. There he indulged in the most disgusting orgies, with 
his judges and various members of the clubs. The executioner was admitted 
to his table, and treated with the highest consideration. Lebon, stationed in 
a balcony, attended the executions. He addressed the people, and caused 
the Ca ira to be played while the blood of his victims was flowing. One 
day, having received intelligence of a victory, he hastened to his balcony, 
and ordered the execution to be suspended, that tlie sufferers who were about 
to die might be made acquainted with the successes of the republic. 

Lebon's conduct had been so extravagant, tliat he was liable to accusation, 
even before the committee of public welfare. Inhabitants of Arras, who had 
sought refuge in Paris, took great pains to gain admittance to their fellow- 
citizen, Robespierre, for the purpose of submitting their complaints to him. 
Some of them had known, and even conferred obligations on him in his 
youth. Still they could not obtain an interview with him. Guffroy, the 
deputy,:}: who was at Arras, and who was a man of great courage, spared no 

* "Joseph Lebon, born at Arras, at the period of the Revolution connected himself with 
Robespierre. After the 10th of August he was appointed mayor of that town; was then 
appointed attorney-general of the department, and afterwards joined the Convention as sup- 
plementary deputy. In 1793 he was sent as commissioner to Arras, where he perpetrated 
the mo-st flagrant cruelties. In the year 1795 he was condemned to death as a Terrorist. At 
the time of his execution he was thirty years of age." — Biographie Moderne. E. 

" Lebon prided himself on his apostacy, libertinism, and cruelty. Every day after his 
dinner he presided at the execution of his victims. By his order an orchestra was erected 
close to the guillotine. He used to be present at the trials, and once gave notice of the death 
of those whom he chose to be sentencc<] to die. He delighted in frightening women by firing 
off pistols close to their cars." — Pntilhomme. E. 

" It is a curious fact, highly illustrative of the progress of revolutions, that Lebon was At 
first humane and inoffensive in his government, and it was not till he had received repeated 
orders from Robespierre, with a hint of a dungeon in case of refusal, that his atrocities com- 
menced. Let no man, if he is not conscious of the utmoet firmness of mind, be sure that he 
would not, under similar circumstances, have done the same." — Duchess (T Ahrantes. E. 

-{- *' In the city of Arras above two thousand persons perished by the guillotine. Mingling 
treachery and seduction with sanguinary oppression, LcIkmi turned the despotic powers with 
which he was invested into the means of individual gratification. After having diagraced 
the wife of a nobleman, who yielded to his embraces in order to save her husband's life, h* 
put the man to death before the eyea of his devoted consort Children whom he had cor- 
rupted, were employed by him as spies on their parents ; and ao infectoui) did the cruel 
example become, that the favourite amuaement of thii little band was putting to death birds 
and small animals with little guillotines maile ibr their use." — Alison. E. 

i "A. B. J. Gutfroy, an advocate, was deputy to the Convention, where he voted for the 
King's death. He was one of the most intemperate jouinaliats of his time. In 1793 h« 


efforts to call the attention of the committees to the conduct of Lebon. He 
had even the noble hardihood to make an express denunciation to the Con- 
vention. The committee of public welfare took cognizance of it, and couUt 
not help summoning Lebon. The committee, however, was not willing 
eitlier to disavow its agents, or to appear to admit that it was possible to be 
too severe towards the aristocrats. It sent Lebon back to Arras, and, in 
writing to him, made use of these expressions : " Pursue tlie good course, 
and pursue it with the discretion and the dignity which leave no handle for 
the calumnies of the aristocracy." The complaints preferred in the Conven- 
tion by GufTroy against Lebon required a report from the committee. Bar- 
rere was commissioned to prepare it. "All complaints against representa- 
tives," said he, "ought to be referred to the committee in order to spare 
discussions, which would annoy the government and the Convention. Such 
is the course which has been followed on this occasion in regard to Lebon. 
We have inquired into the motives of his conduct. Are these motives pure? 
— is the result useful to the Revolution ?-^is it serviceable to liberty ? — are 
the complaints merely recriminatory, or are they only the vindictive outcries 
of the aristocracy? This is what the committee has kept in view in this 
affair. Forms somewhat harsh have been employed ; but these forms have 
destroyed the snares of the aristocracy. The committee certainly has reason 
to disapprove of them ; but Lebon has completely beaten the aristocrats, and 
saved Carabray. Besides, what is there that ought not to be forgiven the 
hatred of a republican against the aristocracy ! With how many generous 
sentiments has not a patriot occasion to cover whatever there may be acrimo- 
nious in the prosecution of the enemies of the people ! The Revolution should 
not be mentioned but with respect, nor revolutionary measures but with 
indulgence. Liberty is a virgin, whose veil it is culpable to lift up," 

The result of all this was that Lebon was authorized to proceed, and that 
GufTroy was classed among the troublesome censors of the revolutionary 
government, and became liable to share their dangers. It was evident that 
the entire committee was in favour of the system of terror. Robespierre, 
Couthon, Billaud, CoUot-d'Herbois, Vadier, Vouland, Amar, might differ 
concerning their prerogatives and concerning their number and the selection 
of their colleagues to be sacrificed ; but they perfecdy agreed as to the system 
of exterminating all those who formed obstacles to the Revolution. They 
did not wish this system to be applied with extravagance by the Lebons and 
the Carriers ; but they were anxious to be delivered promptly, certainly, and 
witli as little noise as possible, after the example set in Paris, from the ene- 
mies whom they supposed to have conspired against the republic. While 
censuring certain insane cruelties, they had the self-love of power, which is 
always reluctant to disavow its agents. They condemned what had been 
done at Arras and at Nantes ; but they approved of it in appearance, that 
they might not acknowledge a fault in their government. Hurried into this 
horrible career, they advanced blindly, not knowing whither it was likely to 
lead them. Such is the sad condition of the man engaged in evil, that he 
has not the power to stop. As soon as he begins to conceive a doubt as to 
the nature of his actions, as soon as he discovers that he has lost his way, 
instead of turning back he rushes forward, as if to stun himself — as if to 

became one of the commhtee of general safety. On the downfall of Robespierre, whoM 
enemy he had become, he joined the Thermidorian party. In 1794 he denounced Lebon, 
vrilh whom he had once been very intimate. GufTroy was subsequently appointed chief 
SMistant in the administration of justice, and di«d in the year 1600, about fifty-six yean of 
•go." — Bic^aphie Modeme. E. 

VOL. HI. — 10 G 



escape from the sights which annoy him. Before he can stop, he must be 
calm, he must examine himself, he must pass a severe judgment upon him- 
self, which no man has the courage to do. 

Nothing but a general rising could stop the authors of this terrible system. 
It was requisite that, in this rising, the members of the committees, jealous of 
the supreme power, the threatened Mountaineers, the indignant Convention, and 
all the hearts disgusted by this horrid effusion of blood, should be associated. 
But, to attain this alliance of jealousy, fear, and indignation, it was requisite 
that jealousy «hould make progress in the committees, that fear should be- 
come extreme in the Mountain, that indignation should restore courage to 
the Convention and to the public. It was requisite that an occasion should 
cause all these sentiments to burst forth at once ; and that the opressors 
should give the first blows, in order that the oppressed might dare to return 

Public opinion was disposed, and the moment had arrived when a move- 
ment in behalf of humanity against revolutionary violence was possible. 
The republic being victorious and its enemies daunted, people had passed 
from fear and fury to confidence and pity. It was the first time during the 
Revolution that such a circumstance could have happened. When the Gi- 
rondins and the Dantonists perished, it was not yet time to invoke humanity. 
The revolutionary government was not yet discredited, neither had it become 

While waiting for the moment, the parties watched one another, and re- 
sentments were accumulated in their hearts. Robespierre had entirely 
seceded from the committee of public welfare. He hoped to discredit the 
government of his colleagues by taking no further part in it : he appeared 
only at the Jacobins, where Billaud and Collot durst no longer show them- 
selves and where he was every day more and more adored. He began to 
throw out observations there on the intestine dissensions of the committee. 
" Formerly," said he, " the hollow faction which has been formed out of 
the relics of Danton and Camille-Desmoulins attacked the committees en 
masse ; now it prefers attacking certain members in particular, in order to 
succeed in breaking the bundle. Formerly, it durst not attack the national 
justice ; now it deems itself strong enough to calumniate the revolutipnary 
tribunal, and the decree concerning its organization ; it attributes to a single 
individual what belongs to the whole government ; it ventures to assert that 
the revolutionary tribunal has been instituted for the purpose of slaughtering 
the National Convention, and unfortunately it has obtained but too much 
credence. Its calumnies have been believed ; they have been assiduously 
circolated ; a dictator has been talked of ; he has been named ; it is I who 
have been designated, and you would tremble, ivere I to tell you in whcU 
place. Truth is my only refuge against crime. These calumnies will most 
assuredly not discourage me, but they leave me undecided what course to 
pursue. Till I can say more on this subject, I invoke the virtues of the 
Convention, the virtues of the committees, the virtues of all good citizens, 
and lastly, your virtues, which have so often proved serviceable to the 

We see by what perfidious insinuations Robespierre began to denounce 
the committees, and to attach the Jacobins exclusively to himself. For these 
tokens of confidence he was repaid with unbounded adulation. The revolu- 
tionary system being imputed to him alone, it was natural that all tlie revo- 
lutionary authorities should be attached to him, and warmly espouse his 
cause. With the Jacobins were of course associated the commune, always 



united in principle and conduct with the Jacobins, and all the judges and 
jurors of the revolutionary tribunal. This association formed a very consi- 
derable force, and, with more resolution and energy, Robespierre might hare 
made himself extremely formidable. By means of the Jacobins he swayed 
a turbulent mass, which had hitherto represented and ruled the public opi- 
nion : by the commune he had the local authority, which had taken the lead 
in all the insurrections, and what was of still more consequence, the armed 
force of Paris. Pache, the mayor, and Henriot,* the commandant, whom 
he had saved when they were about to be coupled with Chaumette, were 
wholly devoted to him. Billaud and CoUot had taken advantage, it is true, 
of his absence, to imprison Pache ; but Fleuriot, the new mayor, and Payen, 
the national agent, were just as much attached to him ; and his adversaries 
had not dared to take Henriot from him. Add to these persons, Dumas, the 
president of the tribunal, Cofinhal, the vice-president, and all the other judges 
and jurors, and we shall have some idea of the. influence which Robespierre 
possessed in Paris. If the committees and the Convention did not obey 
him, he had only to complain to the Jacobins, to excite a movement among 
them, to communicate this movement to the commune, to compel the muni- 
cipal authority to declare that the people resumed its sovereign powers, to 
set the sections in motion, and to send Henriot, to demand of the Convention 
sixty or seventy deputies. Dumas, Cofinhal,t and the whole tribunal would 
then be at his -command, to put to death the deputies whom Henriot should 
have obtained by main force. All the means, in short, of such a day as the 
81st of May, more prompt and more certain than the former, were in his 

Accordingly, his partisans, his parasites, surrounded and urged him to give 
the signal for it. Henriot offered moreover the assistance of his columns, 
and promised to be more energetic than on the 2d of June. Robespierre, 
who preferred doing everything by words, and who imagined that he could 
yet accomplish a great deal by such means, resolved to wait. He hoped to 

• " Henriot was the offspring of parents who were poor, but maintained an irreproachable 
character, residing in Paris. In his youth he was footman to a counsellor of parliament 
He made no conspicuous figure in the early period of the Revolution, but rose by degrees to 
be commandant of his section, and distinguished himself by his cruelty in the September 
massacres. At the time of the contest between the Mountain and the Girondins, Henriot, 
to serve the purposes of his party, was raised to the command of the national guard. When 
the fall of Robespierre was in agitation, he also was denounced, and, after in vain endea- 
vouring to enlist the soldiers in his cause, he took refuge with the rest of the faction at the 
Hotel de Ville. The danger of their situation enraged Cofinhal to such a degree, that he 
threw Henriot out of a window into the street, who, dreadfully bruised by his fall, crept into 
a common sewer, where he was discovered by some soldiers, who struck him with their 
bayonets, and thrust out one of his eyes, which hung by the ligaments down his cheek. He 
was executed the same day with Robespierre and the rest of his associates. He went to the 
scaffold with no other dress than his under-waistcoat, all over filth from the sewer, and Mood 
from his own wounds. As he was about to ascend the scaffold a bystander snatched out the 
eye which had been displaced from its socket ! Henriot suffered at the age of thirty-five." — 
Adolphtu. £. 

" Henriot was clerk of the Barriers, but was driven thence for thefl. He was then re- 
ceived by the police into the number of its spies, and was again sent to the Bic^tre, which he 
quitted only to be flogged and branded ; at last, passing over the piled corpses of September, 
where he drank of Madame de Lamballe's blood, he made himself a way to the generalship 
of the 2d of June, and finally to the scaffold." — Prudhotnme. E. 

f " Cofinhal was bom in the year 1746. He it was, who, when Lavoisier requested 
tbathis death mifht bedelayed a fortnight, in order that he might finish some im|>ortant ex- 
periments, made answer, that the republic had no need of scholars or chemists. — Vnivtrtal 
Biographic. £. 



make the committees unpopular by his secession and by his speeches at the 
Jacobins, and he then proposed to seize a favourable moment for attacking 
them openly in the Convention. He continued, notwithstanding his seem- 
mg abdication, to direct the tribunal, and to exercise an active police by 
means of an office which he had established. He thus kept strict watch over 
his adversaries, and informed himself of all their movements. He now in- 
dulged in rather more relaxation than formerly. He was observed to repair 
to a very handsome country-seat, belonging to a family that was devoted to 
him, at Maisons-Alfort, three leagues from Paris. Thither all his partisans 
accompanied him. To this place, too, came Dumas, Cofinhal, Payen, and 
Fleuriot. Henriot also frequently went thither with all his aides-de-camp ; 
they proceeded along the road five abreast and at full gallop, upsetting all 
who happened to be in their way, and by their presence spreading terror 
through the country. The entertainers and the friends of Robespierre, caused 
him, by their indiscretion, to be suspected of many more plans than he 
meditated, or had the courage to prepare. In Paris, he was always sur- 
rounded by the same persons, and he was followed at certain distances by 
Jacobins or jurors of the tribunal, men devoted to him, armed with sticks and 
secret weapons, and ready to hasten to his assistance in any emergency. 
1'hey were called his life-guards. 

Billaud-Varennes, CoUot-d'Herbois, and Barr^re, seized, on their part, the 
direction of all affairs, and, in the absence of their rival, they attached to 
themselves Carnot, Robert Lindet, and Prieur of the Cote-d'Or. A common 
interest induced the committee of general safety to join them. For the rest, 
they maintained the most profound silence. They strove to diminish by 
degrees the power of their adversary, by reducing the armed force of Paris. 
There were forty-eight companies of artillery belonging to the forty-eight 
sections, perfectly organized, and which had given proofs, under all circum- 
stances, of the most revolutionary spirit. From the lOtli of August to the 
3l8t of.May, they had always ranged themselves on the side of insurrection. 
A decree directed that half of them at least should remain in Paris, but per- 
mitted the other part to be removed. Billaud and CoUot had ordered the 
chief of the commission superintending the movements of the armies to send 
them off successively to the frontiers, and this order had already begun to be 
carried into effect. They concealed all their operations as much as possible 
from Couthon, who, not having withdrawn like Robespierre, watched them 
attentively, and annoyed them much. During these proceedings, Billaud, 
gloomy and splenetic, seldom quitted Paris ; but the witty and voluptuous 
Barrere went to Passy with the principal members of the committee of gene- 
ral safety, with old Vadier, Vouland, and Amar. They met at the house 
of old Dupin, formerly a farmer-general, famous under the late government 
for his kitchen, and during the Revolution for the report which sent the 
farmers-general to the scaffold. There they indulged in all sorts of pleasures 
with beautiful women, and Barrere exercised his wit against the pontiff of 
the Supreme Being, the chief prophet, the beloved son of the mother of God. 
After amusing themselves, they quitted the arms of their courtezans to return 
to Paris into the midst of blood and rivalships. 

The old members of the Mountain, who found themselves threatened, met 
on tlieir part in secret, and sought to come to some arrangement. The 
generous woman who, at Bordeaux, had attached herself to Tallien,* and 

* "The marriage of MaJame Fontenai with Tallien was not a happy one. On his latum 
from Egypt, a separation took place, and in 1805 Ae manried M. de Caraman, Prince of 
ChimaL" — ScotCt Life of Napoleon. E. 



snatched from Iiim a multitude of victims, urged him from the recesses of 
her prison to strike the tyrant. Tallien, Lecointre, Bourdon of the Oise, 
Thuriot, Panis, Barras, Freron, Monestier, were joined by Guffroy, the an- 
tagonist of Lebon; Dubois-Cranc^, compromised at the siege of Lyons, and 
detested by Couthon ; Fouche of Nantes, who had quarrelled with Robes- 
pierre, and who was reproached with having conducted himself in a manner 
not sufficiently patriotic at Lyons.* Tallien and Lecointre were the most 
daring and the most impatient. Fouche was particularly feared, on account 
of his skill in contriving and conducting an intrigue, and it was against him 
that the triumvirs were most embittered. 

On occasion of a petition from the Jacobins of Lyons, in which they 
complained to the Jacobins of Paris of their existing situation, the whole 
history of that unfortunate city came again under review. Couthon de- 
nounced Dubois-Crance, as he had done some months before, accused him 
of having allowed Precy to escape, and obtained his erasure from the list of 
Jacobins. Robespierre accused Fouch^, and imputed to him the intrigues 
which had caused Gaillard, the patriot, to lay violent hands on himself. At 
his instigation, it was resolved that Fouch6 should be summoned before the 
society to justify his conduct. It was not so much the intrigues of Fouch^ 
at Lyons, as his intrigues in Paris, that Robespierre dreaded, and was desi- 
rous of punishing. Fouche, aware of the danger, addressed an evasive 
letter to the Jacobins, and besought them to suspend their judgment till the 
committee, to whom he had just submitted his conduct, and whom he had 
furnished with all the documents in his favour, should have pronounced its 
decision. " It is astonishing," said Robespierre, " that Fouche should to- 
day implore the aid of the Convention against the Jacobins. Does he shrink 
from the eyes and the ears of the people ? Is he afraid lest his sorry face 
should betray guilt ? Is he afraid lest the looks of six thousand persons 
fixed upon him should discover his soul in his eyes, and read his thoughts 
there in despite of nature which has concealed them ? The conduct of 
Fouche is that of a guilty person : you cannot keep him any longer in your 
bosom ; he must be excluded." Fouche was accordingly excluded, as 
Dubois-Crance had been. Thus the storm roared daily more and more 
vehemenUy against the threatened Mountaineers, and the horizon on all 
sides became more overcast with clouds. 

Amidst this turmoil, the members of the committees, who feared Robes- 
pierre, would rather have courted an explanation and conciliated his ambition, 
than commenced a dangerous conflict. Robespierre had sent for his young 
colleague, St. Just, and the latter had immediately returned from the army. 
It was proposed that a meeting should take place for the purpose of at- 
tempting to adjust their differences. It was not till after much entreaty that 
Robespierre consented to an interview. He did at length comply, and the 
two committees assembled. Both sides complained of each other with great 
acrimony. Robespierre spoke of himself with his usual pride, denounced 
secret meetings, talked of conspirator deputies to be punished, censured all 
the operations of the government, and condemned everything — administra- 
tion, war, and finances. 

* " The following extract from a letter written by Fouchd to Collot-<]'Herboia, will show 
the tort of treatment which this bloodthirsty Jacobin adopted towards the unfortunate citizen* 
of Lyons : ' Let us show ourselves terrible ; let us annihilate in our wrath, and at one blow, 
every conspirator, every traitor, that we may not feel the pain, the long torture, of punishing 
them as kings would do. We this evening send two hundred and thirteen rebels before the 
thunder of our cannon ! Farewell, my friend ; tears of joy stream from my eyes, and over- 
flow mj heart !' " — Monittur. E. 




St. Just supported Robespierre, pronounced a magnificent panegyric upon 
him, and said that the last hope of foreigners was to produce dissension in 
the government. He related what had been said by an officer who had been 
made prisoner before Maubeuge. The allies were waiting, according to that 
officer, till a more moderate party should overthrow the revolutionary govern- 
ment, and cause other principles to predominate. St. Just took occasion 
from this fact to insist on the necessity of conciliation and concord in future 
proceedings. The antagonists of Robespierre entertained the same senti- 
ments, and they were willing to arrange matters in order to remain masters 
of the state ; but in order to effect such an arrangement they must consent to 
all that Robespierre desired, and such conditions could not suit them. The 
members of the committee of general safety complained bitterly that they 
had been deprived of their functions. Elie Lacoste had the boldness to 
assert that Couthon, St. Just, and Robespierre formed a committee in the 
committees, and even dared to utter the word triumvirate. Some reciprocal 
concessions were nevertheless agreed upon. Robespierre consented to con- 
fine his office of general police to the superintendence of the agents of the 
committee of public welfare ; and his adversaries, in return, agreed to direct 
St. Just to make a report to the Convention, concerning the interview that 
had taken place. In this report, as may naturally be supposed, no mention 
was to be made of the dissensions which had prevailed between tlie commit- 
tees ; but it was to treat of the commotions which public opinion had of late 
experienced, and to fix the course which the government proposed to pursue. 
Billaud and Collot insinuated that too much should not be said in it about 
the Supreme Being, for they still had Robespierre's pontificate before their 
eyes. The former, nevertheless, with his gloomy and uncheering look, told 
Robespierre that he had never been his enemy ; and Uie parties separated 
without being really reconciled, but apparendy somewhat less divided than 
before. In such a reconciliation there could not be any sincerity, for ambition 
remains the same ; it resembled those attempts at negotiation which all par- 
ties make before they come to blows; it was a hollow reconciliation, like 
the reconciliations proposed between the Constituents and the Girondins, 
between the Girondins and the Jacobins, between Danton and Robes- 

If, however, it failed to restore harmony among the members of the com- 
mittees, it greatly alarmed the Mountaineers. They concluded that their 
destruction was to be the pledge of peace, and they strove to ascertain what 
were the conditions of the treaty. The members of tlie committee of gene- 
ral safety were anxious to dispel their fears. Elie Lacoste, Dubarran, and 
Moyse Bayle, the best members of the committee, pacified them, and told 
them that no sacrifice had been agreed upon. This was true enough, and it 
was one of the reasons which prevented the reconciliation from being com- 
plete. Barrere, however, who was particularly desirous that the parties 
should be on good terms, did not fail to repeat in his daily reports tiiat the 
members of the government were perfecUy united, that they had been unjustly 
accused of being at variance, and that tliey were exerting their joint efforts 
to render the republic everywhere victorious. He affected to sum up all the 
charges preferred against the triumvirs, and he repelled those charges as 
culpable calumnies, and common to the two committees. ''Amid the shouts 
of victory," said he, "vague rumours are heard, dark calumnies are circu- 
lated, subtle poisons are infused into the journals, mischievous plots are 
hatched, factitious discontents are preparing, and the government is perpetu- 



ally annoyed, impeded in its operations, thwarted in its movemenla, slandered 
in its intentions, and tlireatened in those who compose it. Yet, what has it 
done ?" Here Barrere added the usual enumeration of the labours and ser- 
vices of the government. 

While Barrere was doing his best to conceal the discord of the committees, 
St. Just, notwithstanding the report which he had to present, had returned 
to the array, where important events were occurring. The noovements be- 
gun by the two wings had continued. Pichegru had prosecuted his operations 
on the Lys and the Scheldt ; Jourdan had begun his on the Sambre. Profit- 
ing by the defensive attitude which Coburg had assumed at Tournay since 
the battles of Turcoing and Pont-a-Chin, Pichegru had in view to beat 
Clairfayt separately. He durst not, however, advance as far as Thielt, and 
resolved to commence the siege of Ypres with the twofold object of drawing 
Clairfayt towards him and taking that place, which would consolidate the 
establishment of the French in West Flanders. Clairfayt expected rein- 
forcements, and made no movement. Pichegru then pushed the siege of 
Ypres, and he pushed it so vigorously that Coburg and Clairfayt deemed 
it incumbent on them to quit their respective positions, and to proceed to the 
relief of the threatened fortress. Pichegru, in order to prevent Coburg from 
prosecuting this movement, caused troops to march from Lille, and to make 
80 serious a demonstration on Orchies that Coburg was detained at Tour- 
nay. At the same time he moved forward and hastened to meet Clairfayt, 
who was advancing towards Rousselaer and Hooglede. His prompt and 
well-conceived movements afforded him an occasion of fighting Clairfayt 
separately. One division having unfortunately mistaken its way, Clairfayt 
had time to return to his camp at Thielt, after sustaining a slight loss. But, 
three days afterwards, Clairfayt, reinforced by the detachment for which he 
was waiting, deployed unawares in face of our columns with thirty thousand 
men. Our soldiers quickly ran to arms, but the right division, being 
attacked with great impetuosity, was thrown into confusion, and the left re- 
mained uncovered on ttie plateau of Hooglede. Macdonald commanded this 
left division, and found means to maintain it against the repeated attacks in 
front and flank to which it was long exposed. By this courageous resist- 
ance he gave Devinthier's brigade time to rejoin him, and then obliged Clair- 
fayt to retire with considerable loss. This was the fifth time that Clairfayt, 
ill seconded, was beaten by our army of the North. This action, so honour- 
able for Macdonald's division, decided the surrender of the besieged fortress. 
Four days afterwards, on the 29th of Prairial (June 17), Ypres opened its 
gates, and a garrison of seven thousand men laid down its arms. Coburg 
was going to the succour of Ypres and Clairfayt, when he learned that it 
was too late. The events which were occurring on the Sambre then obliged 
him to move towards the opposite side of tlie theatre of war. He left the 
Duke of York on the Scheldt, and Clairfayt at Thielt, and marched with all 
the Austrian troops towards Charleroi. It was an absolute separatiort of the 
principal powers, England and Austria, which were on very bad terms, and 
the very different interests of which were on this occasion most distinctly 
manifested. The English remained in Flanders near the maritime provinces, 
and the Austrians hastened towards their threatened communications. This 
separation increased not a little their misunderstanding. The Emperor 
of Austria had retired to Vienna, disgusted with tliis unsuccessful warfare ; 
and Mack, seeing his plans frustrated, had once more quitted the Aus- 
trian staff. 

We have seen Jourdan arriving from the Moselle at Charleroi at tlie mo- 


ment when the French, repulsed for the third time, were recrossing the 
Sambre in disorder. After a few days' respite had been given to the troops, 
some of whom were dispirited by their defeats, and others fatigued by their 
rapid march, some change was made in their organization. With Desjar- 
dins' and Charbonnier's divisions, and the divisions which had arrived from 
the Moselle, a single army was composed, which was called the army of 
Sambre and Meuse. It amounted to about sixty-six thousand men, and was 
placed under the command of Jourdan. A division of fifteen thousand 
men, under Scherer, was left to guard the Sambre between Thuin and 

Joui-dan resolved immediately to recjross the Sambre and to invest Char- 
leroi. Hatry's division was ordered to attack the place, and the bulk of the 
army was disposed all around to cover the siege. Charleroi is seated on the 
Sambre. Beyond it there is a series of positions forming a semicircle, the 
extremities of which are defended by the Sambre. These positions are 
scarcely in any respect advantageous, because they form a semicircle ten 
leagues in extent, are too unconnected, and have a. river at their back. 
Kleber, with the left, extended from the Sambre to Orchies and Trasegnies, 
guarded the rivulet of Pieton, which ran through the field of battle and fell 
into the Sambre. At the centre, Morlot guarded Gosselies ; Championnet 
advanced between Hepignies and Wagn^ ; Lefebvre* occupied Wagne, 
Fleurus, and Lambusart. Lastly, on the right, Marceau extended himself 
in advance of the wood of Campinaire, and connected our line with the Sam- 
bre. Jourdan, sensible of the disadvantage of these positions, determined 
not to remain there, but to leave them, and to take the initiative of the attack 
on the morning of the 28th of Prairial (June 16). At this moment Coburg 
had not yet moved towards that point. He was at Tournay, looking on at 
the defeat of Clairfayt and the reduction of Ypres. The Prince of Orange, 
Bent towards Charleroi, commanded the army of the allies. He resolved, 
on his part, to prevent the attack with which he was threatened, and, on the 
morning of the 28th, he deployed his troops so as to oblige the French to 
fight on the ground which they occupied. Four columns, directed against 
our right and our centre, had already penetrated into the wood of Campi- 
naire, where Marceau was, taken Fleurus from Lefebvre, and Hepignies 
from Championnet, and were driving Morlot from Pont-a-Migneloup upon 
Gosselies, when Jourdan seasonably arriving with a reserve of cavalry, 
stopped the fourth column by a successful charge, led Morlot's troops back 
to their positions, and restored the combat at the centre. On the left, Wart- 
ensleben had made a similar progress towards Trasegnies. But Kleber, 

• •' Francois Joseph Lefebvre, a native of Rufack, of an humble family, was born in 1755. 
The Revolution which found him a veteran sergeant, opened to him the higher career of his 
profession. In 1793 he was raised from the rank of captain to that of adjutant-^^neral ; in 
December of the same year he was general of brigade, and the month after, uf division. He 
fought under Pichegru, Morcau, Hoche, and Jourdan in the Netherlands and in Germany, 
and on ail occasions with distinction. Lefebvre was of great use to Bonaparte in the revo- 
lution of Brumairo, and, when raised afterwards to the dignity of marshal, was one of the best 
supports of the imperial fortunes. In the campaigns of 1805, 6, and 7, he showed equal 
skill and intrepidity. After the battle of Eylau, having distinguished himself by his conduct 
at Danizic which ho was sent to invest, he was created Duke of Dantzic. In the Gorman 
campaign of I8U9 be maintained the honour of the French arms, and in 1813 and 1814 ad- 
hered faithfully to the declining fortunes of his master. Louis XVIII. made him a peer, 
but notwithstanding this, ho supported the Emperor on his return from EUml In 1816 he 
was confirmed in his rank of marshal, and three yeara afterwards was recalled to the upper 
chamber. Lefebvre died in 1820, leaving no issue." — Court and Camp of BonaparU. E. 



making the most prompt and happy dispositions, retook Trasegnies, and 
tlien, seizing tlie favourable moment, turned Wartensleben, drove him beyond 
tlie Pieton, and pursued him in two columns. The combat had thus far been 
maijitained with advantage ; nay, victory was about to declare for the French, 
when the Prince of Orange, uniting his first two columns towards Lambu- 
sart, on the point which connected the extreme right of the French with the 
Sambre, threatened their communications. The right and the centre were 
then obliged to fall back. Kleber, giving up his victorious march, covered 
the retreat with his troops : it was effected in good order. Such was the first 
affair of the 28th (June 16). It was the fourth time that the French had 
been forced to recross the Sambre ; but this time it was in a manner much 
more honourable to their arms. Jourdan was not disheartened. He once 
more crossed the Sambre, a few days afterwards, resumed the positions which 
he had occupied on the 16th, again invested Charleroi, and caused the bom- 
bardment to be pushed with the utmost vigour. 

Coburg, apprized of Jourdan's new operations, at length approached the 
Sambre. It was of importance to the French that they should take Charle- 
roi before the arrival of the reinforcements which the Austrian army was 
expecting. Marescot, the engineer, pushed the operations so briskly, that 
in a week the guns of the fortress were silenced, and every preparation was 
made for the assault. On the 7th of Messidor (June 25), the commandant 
sent an officer with a letter to treat. St. Just, who still ruled in our camp, 
refused to open the letter, and sent back the officer, saying, " It is not a bit 
of paper, but the fortress that we want." The garrison marched out of the 
place the same evening, just as Coburg was coming in sight of the French 
lines. The enemy remained ignorant of the surrender of Charleroi. By 
the possession of the place, our position was rendered more secure, and the 
battle that was about to be fought, with a river behind, less dangerous. 
Hatry's division, being left at liberty, was marched to Ransart, to reinforce 
the centre, and every preparation was made for a decisive engagement on the 
following day, the 8th of Messidor (June 26). 

Our positions were the same as on the 28th of Prairial (June 16). Kle- 
ber commanded on the left, from the Sambre to Trasegnies. Morlot, Cham- 
pionnet, Lefebvre, and Marceau formed the centre and the right, and extended 
from Gosselies to the Sambre. Intrenchments had been made at Hepignies, 
to secure our centre. Coburg caused us to be attacked along the whole of 
this semicircle, instead of directing a concentric effort upon one of our ex- 
tremities, upon our right, for instance, and taking from us all the passages 
of the Sambre. 

The attack commenced on the morning of the 8th of Messidor. The 
Prince of Orange and General Latour, who faced Kleber on the left, beat 
back our columns, and drove them through the wood of Monceaux to Mar- 
chienne-au-Pont, on the bank of the Sambre. Kleber, who was fortunately 
placed on the left for the purpose of directing all the divisions there, imme- 
diately hastened to the threatened point, despatched batteries to the heights, 
enveloped the Austrians in the wood of Monceaux, and attacked them 
on all sides. The latter, having perceived, as they approached the Sambre, 
that Charleroi was in possession of the French, hegan to show some hesita- 
tation. Kleber, taking advantage of it, caused them to be attacked with 
vigour, and obliged them to retire from Marchienne-au-Pont. While Kleber 
was tlms saving one of our extremities, Jourdan was doing no less for the 
centre and the right. Morlot, who was in advance of Gosselies, had long 
made head against General Quasdanovich, and attempted several manoeuvres 

VOL. III.— 11 



for the purpose of turning him ; but had at length been turned himself, and 
fallen back upon Gosselies, after the most honourable efforts. Championnet, 
supported upon the redoubt of Hepignies, resisted with the same vigour ; 
but the corps of Kaunitz had advanced to turn the redoubt at the very mo- 
ment of the arrival of false intelligence stating the retreat of Lefebvre on the 
right. Championnet, deceived by this report, was retiring, and had already 
abandoned the redoubt, when Jourdan, perceiving the danger, directed part 
of Hatry's division, which were placed in reserve, upon that point, retdok 
Hepignies, and pushed his cavalry into the plain upon the troops of 

While both sides were charging with great fury, the battle was raging 
still more violently nearer to the Sambre, at Wagne and Lambusart, Beau- 
lieu, ascending along both banks of the Sambre at once for the purpose of 
attacking our extreme right, repulsed Marceau's division. That division fled 
in all haste through the woods bordering the Sambre, and even crossed the 
river in disorder. Marceau tlien collected some battalions, and, regardless 
of the rest of the fugitive division, threw himself into Lambusart, to perish 
there rather than abandon that post contiguous to the Sambre, which was an 
indispensable support of our extreme right. Lefebvre, who was placed at 
Wagne, Hepignies, and Lambusart, drew back his advanced posts from 
Fleurus upon Wagne, and threw troops into Lambusart to support Marceau's 
effort. This spot became the decisive point of the battle. Beaulieu, per- 
ceiving this, directed thither a third column. Jourdan, attentive to the 
danger, despatched the rest of his reserve to the spot. The combat was 
kept up around the village of Lambusart with extraordinary obstinacy. So 
brisk was the firing that the valleys could no longer be distinguished. The 
corn and the huts of the camp took fire, and the combatants were soon 
fighting amidst a conflagration. The republicans at last remained masters of 

At this moment, the French, at first repulsed, had succeeded in restormg 
the batde at all points. Kleber had covered the Sambre on the left; Morlot, 
having fallen back to Gosselies, maintained himself there; Championnet had 
retaken Hepignies ; and a furious combat at Lambusart had insured us that 
position. Night was now approaching. Beaulieu had just learned, upon the 
Sambre, what the Prince of Orange already knew, that Charleroi was m the 
possession of the French. Daring no longer to persist, Coburg then ordered 
a general retreat. 

Such was this decisive engagement, one of the most sanguinary in the 
whole campaign, fought along a semicircle of ten leagues between two armieb 
of nearly eighty thousand men each. It was called the battle of Fleunis, 
though that village acted but a secondary part, because the Duke of Luxem- 
burg had already shed a lustre on that name in the time of Ix»uis XIV. 
Though its results on the spot were inconsiderable, and it was confined to a 
repulsed attack, it decided the retreat of the Austrians, and thereby produceu 
immense results.* The Austrians could not fight a second battle. To dc- 
this they must have fl)rmed a junction either with the Duke of York or with 
Clairfayt, and these two generals were occupied in the North by Pichegru. 
Being threatened, moreover, upon the Meuse, it was expedient for them to 

* The gmt effect produced on public opinion by the battle of Fleama has been errone- 
ously attributed to the influence of a faction. Robespierrc'ii faction bad, on the contrary, 
the strongest interest to depreciate at the moment the importance of victories, as we »hall pre- 
•ently see. The battle of Fleurus opened to us Brussels and Belgium ; and it was this that 
then gave it celebrity. 


fall back, lest they should compromise their communications. From that 
moment the retreat of the allies became general, and they resolved to concen- 
trate themselves towards Brussels, in order to cover that city. 

The campaign was now evidently decided ; but, owing to an error of tlie 
committee of public welfare, results so prompt and so decisive as there had 
been reason to hope for were not obtained. Pichegru had formed a plan 
which was the best of all his military ideas. The Duke of York was on 
the Scheldt opposite to Tournay ; Clairfayt at a great distance, at Thielt, in 
Flanders. Pichegru, persisting in his plan of destroying Clairfayt separately, 
proposed to cross the Scheldt at Oudenarde, thus to cut off Clairfayt from the 
Duke of York, and to fight him once more by himself. He then meant, 
when the Duke of York, finding that he was left alone, should think of join- 
ing Coburg, to fight him in his turn, then to take Coburg in the rear, or to 
form a junction with Jourdan. This plan which was attended not only with 
the advantage of attacking Clairfayt and the Duke of York separately, but 
also with that of collecting all our forces on the Meuse, was thwarted by a 
very silly idea of the committee of public welfare. Camot had been per- 
suaded to despatch Admiral Venstable with troops to be landed in the island 
of Walcheren, to ^cite insurrection in Holland. To second this plan, 
Camot directed Pichegru's army to march along the coast, and to take pos- 
session of all the ports of West Flanders ; he also ordered Jourdan to detach 
sixteen thousand men from his army, and to send them towards the sea. 
This latter order, in particular, was not only most injudicious but likewise 
most dangerous. The generals demonstrated its absurdity to St, Just, and it 
was not executed ; but Pichegru was nevertheless obliged to move towards 
the sea, to take Bruges and Ostend, while Moreau was reducing Nieuport. 

The movements were continued upon the two wings. Pichegru left 
Moreau, with part of the army, to lay siege to Nieuport and Sluys, and 
with the other took possession of Bruges, Ostend, and Ghent. He then 
advanced towards Brussels. Jourdan, on his side, was also marching thither. 
We had now only rear-guard battles to fight, and at length, on the 22d of 
Messidor (July 10), our advanced guard entered the capital of the Nether- 
lands. A few days afterwards, the two armies of the North and of the 
Sambre and Meuse, effected a junction there. Nothing was of greater im- 
portance than this event. One hundred and fifty thousand French, collected 
in the capital of the Netherlands, were enabled to dash from that point on 
the armies of Europe, which, beaten on all sides, were seeking, some to 
regain the sea, others to regain the Rhine. The fortresses of Cond^, Lan- 
drecies, Valenciennes, and Le Quesnoy, which the allies had taken from us, 
were immediately invested ; and the Convention, pretending that the deli- 
verance of the territory conferred all rights, decreed that, if the garrisons 
did not immediately surrender, they should be put to the sword. It had 
passed another decree enacting that no quarter should in future be given to 
tlie English, by way of punishing all the misdeeds of Pitt against France.* 

• " To thia inhuman decree of the Convention, the Duke of York replied, by the following 
order of the day : ' The National Convention has just passed a decree that their soldiers shall 
give no quarter to the British or Hanoverian troops. His Royal Highness anticipates the 
indignation and horror which has naturally arisen in the minds of the brave troops whom be 
addresses, on receiving this information. He desires however to remind them that mercy to 
the vanquished is the brightest gem in a soldier's character, and exhorts them not to suffer 
their resentment to lead them to any precipitate act of cruelty on thsir part which may sully 
the reputation they have acquired in the world. The British and Hanoverian troops will 
not believe that thie French nation, even under their present infatuation, can so Car forget 



Our soldiers would not pay obedience to this decree. A sergeant, having 
taken some English prisoners, brought them to an officer. " Why hast 
thou taken them ?" asked the officer. " Because it was saving so many 
shot," replied the sergeant. " True," rejoined the officer, " but the repre- 
sentatives will oblige us to shoot them." — " It is not we," retorted the 
sergeant, " who will shoot them. Send them to the representatives, and if 
they are barbarous enough, why then let them e'en kill and eat them, if 
they like." 

Thus our armies, which acted at first upon the enemy's centre, but which 
was found too strong, had divided themselves into two wings, which had 
marclied, the one along the Lys, the other along the Sambre. Pichegru had 
first beaten Clairfayt at Moucroen and at Courtray, then Coburg and the 
Duke of York at Turcoing, and lastly, had defeated Clairfayt again at Hoo- 
glede. After several times crossing the Sambre, but being as often driven 
back, Jourdan, brought by a happy idea of Carnot's upon the Sambre, had 
decided the successes of our right wing at Fleurus. From that moment the 
allies, attacked on both wings, had abandoned the Netherlands to us. Such 
was the campaign. Our astonishing successes were everywhere extolled. 
The victory of Fleurus, the occupation of Charleroi, Ypres, Toumay, 
Oudenarde, Ostend, Bruges, Ghent, and Brussels, and lastly, the junction 
of our armies in that capital were vaunted as prodigies. These advantages 
were anything but gratifying to Robespierre, who saw the reputation of the 
committee increasing, and that of Camot in particular, to whom, it must be 
confessed, the success of the campaign was too much attributed. All the 
good done by the committee and all the glory gained by them in the absence 
of Robespierre could not but rise up against him and constitute his con- 
demnation. One defeat, on the contrary, would have revived the revolu- 
tionary fury for his benefit, furnished him with an opportunity for accusing 
the committees of want of energy or treason, justified his secession for the 
last four decades, excited an extraordinary idea of his foresight, and raised 
his power to the highest pitch. He had, therefore, placed himself in the 
most melancholy position, that of wishing for defeats ; and every circum- 
stance proved that he did wish for them. It did not become him either to 
give utterance to this wish or to suffer it to be perceived ; but it was mani- 
fested in spite of himself in his speeches. He strove, in his addresses to 
the .Tacobins, to diminish the enthusiasm excited by the successes of the re- 
public ; he insinuated that the allies were retiring before us as they had done 
before Dumouriez, only to return very soon ; that, in quitting our frontiers 
for a time, they meant only to consign us to the passions developed by pros- 
perity. He added that, at any rate, " victory over the enemy's armies was 
not that to which they ought most ardently to aspire. The genuine victory," 
said he, " is that which the friends of liberty gain over factions ; it is this 
victory that restores to nations peace, justice, and prosperity. A nation 
does not acquire glory by overthrowing tyrants or subjugating other nations 
It was the lot of the Romans and of some other people : our destiny, far 
more sublime, is to found upon earth the empire of wisdom, justice, and 

Robespierre had absented himself from the committee ever since the last 
days of Prairial. It was now the commencement of Thermidor. It was 

their character m soldiers, as to paj any attention to a decree as injurious to themaelres •■ it 
i» disgraceful to their p)vemment.' " — Annxml Keeuier. E. 
* Speech at the Jacobins, the 2l8t of Messidor (July 9). 



nearly forty days since he had seceded from his colleagues. It was high 
time to adopt some resolution. His creatures declared openly that another 
3l8t of May was wanted: the Dumases, the Henriota, the Payens,* urged 
him to give tlie signal for it. He had not the same fondness for violent 
means as they had, and could not share their brutal impatience. Accus- 
tomed to accomplish everything by words, and having more respect for the 
laws, he preferred trying the effect of a speech denouncing the committees 
and demanding tlieir renewal. If he succeeded by this gentler method, he 
would become absolute master, without danger and witliout commotion. If 
he did not succeed, this pacific course would not exclude violent means ; on 
tlie contrary it was right that it should precede them. The 31st of May 
had been preceded by repeated speeches, by respectful applications, and it 
was not till after soliciting without obtaining their wishes, that people had 
concluded with demanding them. He resolved, therefore, to employ the 
same means as on tlie 31st of May, to cause in the first place a petition to 
be presented by the Jacobins, to deliver in the next a flaming speech, and 
lastly, to make St. Just come forward with a report. If all tliese means 
proved insuflicient, he had with him the Jacobins, the commune, and the 
armed force of Paris. But he hoped at any rate not to have occasion to 
renew the scene of tlie 2d of June. He was not bold enough, and had still 
too much respect for the Convention to desire it. 

For some time he had been preparing a voluminous speech, in wliich he 
laboured to expose tlie abuses of the government and to throw all the evils 
which were imputed to it upon his colleagues. He wrote to St. Just, de- 
siring him to come back from the army. He detained his brother, who 
ought to have set out for the frontiers of Italy ; he attended daily at the 
Jacobins, and made every arrangement for the attack. As it always happens 
in extreme situations, various accidents happened to increase the general agi- 
tation. A person, named Magenthies, presented a ridiculous petition pray- 
ing for the punishment of death against all who should use oaths in which 
the name of God was introduced. A revolutionary committee ordered some 
labouring men who had got drunk to be imprisoned as suspected persons. 
These two circumstances gave rise to many sarcastic observations against 
Robespierre. It was said that his Supreme Being was likely to prove a 
greater oppressor than Christ, and that the Inquisition would probably be 
soon re-established in favour of deism ! Sensible of the danger of such ac- 
cusations, he lost no time in denouncing Magenthies at the Jacobins, as an 
aristocrat paid by foreigners to throw discredit on the creed adopted by the 
Convention ; he even caused him to be delivered up to the revolutionary tri- 
bunal. Setting to work his office of police, he had all the members of the 
revolutionary committee of the Indivisibilite apprehended. 

The crisis approached, and it appears that the members of the committee 
of public welfare, and Barrere in particular, would have been glad to make 
peace with their formidable colleague ; but he had become so greedy that it 

* The following letter, urging him to adopt decisive measures, was written to Robespierre 
St this period hy Payen, his zealous adherent in the municipality of Paris : " Would you 
strike to the earth the refractory deputies, and obtain great victories in the interior ; bring 
forward a report which may strike at once all the disaffected ; pass salutary decrees to restrain 
the journals; render all the public functionaries responsible to you alone ; let them t)e conti- 
nually occupied in centralizing public opinion ; hitherto your efforts have been confined to 
the centralizing of the physical government I repeat it ; you require a vast report, which 
may embrace at once all the conspirators, and blend them all together. Commence the great 
work." — History of the Convention. E. 



was impossible to come to any arrangement with him, Barrere, returning 
home one evening with one of his confidents, threw himself into a chair, 
saying, " That Robespierre is insatiable. Let him demand Tallien, Bour- 
don of the Oise, Thuriot, Guffroy, Rovere, Lecointre, Panis, Barras, Fre- 
ron, Legendre, Monestier, Dubois-C ranee, Fouch^, Cambon, and the whole 
Dantonist tail — well and good : but Duval, Audouin, Leonard Bourdon, 
Vadier, Vouland — it is impossible to consent to that." We see that Robes- 
pierre required even the sacrifice of some members of the committee of 
general safety, and thenceforward peace was wholly out of the question. 
They could not do other than break with him, and run the risks of the strug- 
gle. None of Robespierre's adversaries, however, would have dared to 
strike the first blow; the members of the committee waited to be denounced; 
the proscribed Mountaineers waited till their heads should be demanded ; all 
meant to suffer themselves to be attacked before they defended themselves — 
and they acted wisely. It was much better to let Robespierre commence 
the engagement, and compromise himself in the eyes of the Convention by 
the demand of new proscriptions. They would then occupy the position 
of men defending their lives and even those of others ; for it was impossible 
to foresee any end to the immolations if any fresh ones were allowed. 

Every preparation was made, and the first movements commenced on the 
3rd of Thermidor at the Jacobins. Among the creatures of Robespierre was 
one named Sijas, assistant to the commission of movement of the armies. 
A grudge was borne against this commission for having ordered the succes- 
sive departure of a great number of companies of artillery, and for having 
thus diminished the armed force of Paris. Still no one had ventured to pre- 
fer any direct charge against it. Sijas began by complaining of the secrecy 
observed by Pyle, the chief of the commission, and all the reproaches which 
people durst not address either io Carnot or to the committee of public wel- 
fare were levelled at this chief of the commission. Sijas pretended that 
there was but one way left, namely, to address the Convention, and to de- 
nounce Pyle. Another Jacobin denounced one of the agents of the commit- 
tee of general safety. Couthon then spoke, antl said that it was necessary 
to go still farther, and to present to the National Convention an address on 
all the machinations which again threatened liberty. " I exhort you," said 
he, "to submit to it your reflections. It is pure; it will not suffer itself to 
be swayed by four or five villains. For my part, I declare that they shall 
never control me." Couthon's suggestion was forthwith adopted. The 
petition was drawn up, approved on the 5th of Thermidor, and presented on 
the 7th to the Convention. 

The style of this petition was, as usual, respectful in manner, but impe- 
rious in matter. It said that the Jacobins came to pour forth the anxieties 
of the people into the bosom of the Convention. It repeated the accustomed 
declamations against foreigners and their accomplices, against the system of 
indulgences, against the alarm excited for the purpose of dividing the national 
representation, against the efforts that were made to render the worship of 
God ridiculous, &c. It drew no precise conclusions, but said, in a gelieral 
manner, '♦ You will strike terror into traitors, villains, intriguers ; you will 
cheer the good; you will maintain that union which constitutes your 
strength ; you will preserve in all its purity that sublime religion of which 
every citizen is the minister, of which viitue is the only practice; and 
the people, trusting in you, will place its duty and its glory in respecting 
and defending its representatives to the last extremity." This was saying 
very plainly. You must do what Robespierre dictates, or you will not be 


either respected or defended. While this petition was read, a dead silence 
prevailed. No answer was given to it. No sooner was it finished than 
Dubois-Cranc^ mounted the tribune, and, without alluding to the petition or 
to the Jacobins, complained of the mortifications to which, for the last six 
months, he had been subjected, of the injustice with which his services had 
been repaid, and desired that the committee of public welfare might be di- 
rected to make a report on his conduct, though, he said, there were in that 
committee two of his accusers, and that this report should be presented in 
three days. The Assembly assented to his demand, without adding a single 
observation, and maintaining the same silence as before. Barrere succeeded 
him in the tribune. He came to submit a long report on the comparative 
state of France in July, 1793, and in July, 1794. It is certain that the dif- 
ference was immense, and that, if people compared France, torn in pieces 
at once by the royalists, the federalists, and the foreign enemy, with France, 
victorious on all the frontiers, and mistress of the Netherlands, they could 
not refrain from thanksgiving to the government which had effected such a 
change in one year. This eulogy of the committee was the only way in 
which Barrere durst attack Robespierre ; nay, he ev^ praised him expressly 
in his report. With reference to the vague agitations which prevailed, and 
the impudent cries of certain disturbers, who demanded another 31st of May, 
he said that "a representative who enjoyed a patriotic reputation, earned by 
five years of toil and by his unshaken principles of independence and liberty, 
had warmly refuted this counter-revolutionary language." The Convention 
listened to this report, and broke up in expectation of some important event. 
Each looked at the other in silence, and durst neither question nor explain. 
On the next day, the 8th of Thermidor, Robespierre resolved to deliver 
his famous speech. All his agents were prepared, and St. Just arrived in 
the course of the day. The Convention, seeing him in that tribune where 
he appeared so seldom,* expected a decisive scene. " Citizens," said he, 
"let others draw flattering pictures for you, I come to tell you useful truths. 
I come not to realize the ridiculous terrors excited by perfidy; but I wish to 
extinguish, if possible, the torch of discord by the mere force of truth. I come 
to defend before you your outraged authority and violated liberty. I shall 
defend myself: you will not be surprised at that; you are not like the 
tyrants whom you are combating. The cries of outraged innocence annoy 
not your ears, neither are you ignorant that this cause is not foreign to you." 
Robespierre then expatiated on the agitations which had prevailed for some 
time, the fears which had been propagated, the designs imputed to the com- 
mittee and to him against the Convention. "We," exclaimed he, "attack 
the Convention! and what are we without it? Who defended it at the peril 
of his life? Who devoted himself to rescue it from the hands of the factions ?" 
To these questions Robespierre replied* that it was he ; and he called his 
having torn from the bosom of the Convention Brissot, Vergniaud, Gensonne, 
Petion, Barbaroux, Danton, Camille-Desmoulins, &c., defending it against 

• " About this time Robespierre received a deputation from the department of Aisne, which 
came to him to complain of the operations of government, lamenting also that he had been a 
stranger to them for upwards of a month, having seldom or never attended the public sittings 
during that period. ' The Convention,' replied Robespierre, ' gangrened as it is by corrup- 
tion, has no longer the power to save the republic. Both will periah. The proscription of 
the patriots is the order of the day. For myself, I have already one foot in the grave ; in a 
Cbw days I shall have the other there. The rest is in the hands of Providence.' He was a 
little unwell at this time, and he designedly exaggerated his own diwouragement and feara, 
and the danger of the republic, in order to inflame the patriots, and to connect the destiny of 
the Revolution with hia own." — Mignet. E. 


factions. He expressed his astonishment that, after the proofs of devoteclness 
which he had given, sinister rumours should be circulated concerning him. 
"Is it true," said he, "that odious lists have been handed about, marking 
out for victims a certain number of members of the Convention, which lists 
were alleged to be the work of the committee of public welfare, and after- 
wards mine ? Is it true tliat people liave dared to suppose meetings of the 
committee, rigorous resolutions which never existed, and arrests equally 
chimerical? Is it true that pains have been taken to persuade a certain 
number of irreproachable representatives that their destruction was resolved 
Upon? — all those who, by some error, had paid an inevitable tribute to the 
fatality of circumstances and to human frailty, that they were doomed to the 
fate of conspirators ? Is it true that imposture lias been progagated with 
such art and audacity, that a great number of members ceased to sleep at 
their own homes ? Yes, the facts are certain, and the proofs of them are 
before the committee of public welfare !" 

He then complained that the accusation preferred en masse against the 
committees came at length to be levelled at him alone. He represented that 
his name had been given to all the evil that had been done in the govern- 
ment; that, if patriots were imprisoned instead of aristocrats, it was said. 
It is Robespierre who desires it ; that if some patriots had fallen, it waa 
said, It is Robespierre who ordered it ; that if numerous agents of the com- 
mittee of general safety practised everywhere their extortion and their 
rapine, it was said, It is Robespierre who sends them; that if a new law 
robbed the stockholders, it was said, // is Robespierre who ruins them. He 
then said that he was represented as the author of all sorts of evils for the 
purpose of ruining him, that he had been called a tyrant, and that, on the 
festival in honour of the Supreme Being — that day when the Convention 
struck to the earth atheism and priestly despotism at one blow, when it 
attached all generous hearts to the Revolution — that day, in short, of happi- 
ness and pure intoxication — the president of the National Convention, while 
addressing the assembled people, was insulted by guilty men, and that tliose 
men were representatives ! He had been called a tyrant ! and why ? because 
he had acquired some influence by speaking die language of truth. "And 
what do ye pretend to," he exclaimed, "ye, who wish truth to be powerless 
in the mouUis of tlie representatives of the French* people ? Truth assuredly 
has her power, her anger, her despotism ; she has her touching and her ter- 
rible accents, which vibrate with force in pure hearts as well as in guilty con- 
sciences, and which it is not given to falsehood to imitate, any more than to 
Salmoneus to imitate the lightning of heaven. But blame the nation for this, 
blame the people, who feel and who love it. — Wljo am I — ^I, who am ac- 
cused? — a slave of liberty, a living martyr of the republic, the victim as 
much as the enemy of crime. Every scoundrel abuses me. The most in- 
different, the most legitimate* actions on the part of others are crimes in -me. 
A man is slandered as soon as it is known that he is acquainted with me : 
others are forgiven their misdeeds ; as for me, my zeal is made a crime. 
Take from me my conscience, and I am the most miserable of men ; I do not 
even enjoy tlie rights of citizen ; nay, I am not even allowed to fulfil the 
duties of a representative of the people." 

Robespierre thus defended himself by subtle and diffuse declamations, and 
for the first time he found the Convention sullen, silent, and seemingly 
weary of the length of his speech. At last he came to the pith of the ques- 
tion—he proceeded to accuse others. Surveying all the departments of the 
government, he first censured with iniquitous malice the financial system- 
Author of the law of the 22d of Prairial, he expatiated with profound pity 


on the law concerning life annuities ; there was nothing even to the maxi- 
mum but what he seemed to condemn, saying that intriguers had hurried the 
Convention into violent measures. " In whose hands are the finances ?" he 
exclaimed. " In the hands of Feuillans, of known rogues, of the Cambons, 
the Mallarm^s, the Ramels." He then passed to the war department, spoke 
with disdain of those victories, which had just been described with academic 
levity, as though they had not cost either blood or toil. " Keep an eye," 
cried he, " keep a vigilant eye on victory ; keep a vigilant eye on Belgium. 
Your enemies are retiring and leaving you to your intestine divisions ; tliink 
of the end of the campaign. Division has been sown among the generals ; 
the military aristocracy is protected ; the faithful generals are persecuted ; 
the military administration wraps itself up in a suspicious authority. These 
tniths are certainly as valuable as epigrams." He said no more of Camot 
and of Barrere, leaving to St. Just* the task of censuring Camot's plans. 
We see that tliis wretched man flung over everything tlie poison that was 
consuming him. He next expatiated on the committee of general safety, on 
the multitude of its agents, on their cruelties, their rapine ; he denounced 
Amar and Jagot as having seized the police, and doing everything to dis- 
credit the revolutionary government. He complairffed of the sneers uttered 
in the tribune respecting Catharine Theot, and asserted that men encouraged 
the belief of feigned conspiracies in order to conceal real ones. He described 
the two committees as addicted to intrigues and engaged, in some measure, 
in the designs of the anti-national faction. In the whole existing system he 
found nothing good but the revolutionary government, and in that only the 
principle, not the execution. The principle was his ; it was he who caused 
that government to be instituted, but it was his adversaries who spoiled it. 

Such is the substance of Robespierre's voluminous declamations. At 
length he concluded with this summary : " We assert that there exists a con- 
spiracy against the public liberty ; that it owes its strength to a criminal coali- 
tion, which intrigues in the very bosom of the Convention ; that this coalition 
has accomplices in the committee of general safety, arid in the bureaux of 
that committee which they govern ; that the enemies of the republic have 
opposed this committee to the committee of public welfare and thus consti- 
tuted two governments ; that members of the committee of public welfare 
are engaged in this plot ; that the coalition thus formed is striving to ruin 
the patriots and the country. What is the remedy for this evil ? To punish 
the traitor?, to renew the bureaux of the committee of general safety, to 
purify that committee itself and to render it subordinate to the committee of 
public welfare, to purify even the committee of public welfare, to constitute 
the government under the supreme authority of the National Convention, 
which is the centre and the judge, and thus to cnish all the factions with 
the weight of the national authority, in order to raise upon their ruins the 
power of justice and liberty. Such are the principles. If it is impossible 
to claim them without passing for an ambitious man, I shall conclude that 
principles are proscribed and that tyranny reigns among us ; but I shall not, 
on that account, be silent ; — for what can be objected to a man who is in the 
right, and who is ready to die for his country ? I am made to combat 
crime — not to govern it. The time is not yet arrived when good men can 
serve their country with impunity." 

* " St. JuBt, who had just arrived from the army, was no sooner apprized by Robespierre 
of the state of affairs, than be perceived that no time was to be lost, and urged Robespierre 
to act. His maxim was to strike quietly and strongly. < Dare !' said he, * that is the secret 
of revolutions.' " — Mignet. E. 

VOL. Ul. — 12 u2 


In silence Robespierre began his speech, in silence he concluded it.* In 
all parts of the hall the members continued mule, with their eyes fixed on 
him. Those deputies, once such warm admirers, were turned to ice. They 
expressed nothing, and seemed to have the courage to remain cold, since the 
tyrants, divided among themselves, took them for judges. All faces had 
become impenetrable. A faint murmur gradually arose in the Assembly, but 
for some time no one durst speak. Lecointre of Versailles, one of the most 
energetic of Robespierre's enemies, was the first to address the assembly, but 
it was to move that his speech should be printed — such was still the hesitation, 
even of the boldest, to commence the attack. Bourdon of the Oise ventured to 
oppose the motion for printing, saying that the speech involved questions too 
serious, and he proposed that it should be referred to the two committees. 
Barrere, always prudent, supported the motion for printing, alleging that in 
a free, country everything ought to be printed. Couthon rushed to the 
tribune, indignant at witnessing a discussion instead of a burst of enthusiasm, 
and insisted that the speech should not only be printed, but be sent to all the 
communes and all the armies. He could not forbear, he said, to pour forth 
the feelings of his wounded heart, since, for some time past, the deputies 
most faithful to the cause of the people had been loaded with abuse ; they 
were accused of shedding blood, and of desiring to shed more ; and yet, if 
he believed that he had contributed to the destruction of one innocent per- 
son, he should die of grief. The speech of Couthon awakened all the sub- 
mission that was left in the Assembly. It voted that the speech should be 
printed and sent to all the municipalities. 

The adversaries of Robespierre seemed likely to have tjne disadvantage : 
but Vadier, Cambon, Billaud-Varennes, Panis, Amar, desired to be heard in 
reply to Robespierre. Courage revived with the danger, and the conflict 
commenced. All wanted to speak at once. The turn of each was fixed. 
Vadier was first permitted to explain. He justified the committee of general 
safety, and maintained that the report concerning Catherine Theot had for 
its object to reveal a real, a deep conspiracy, and he added, in a significant 
tone, that he possessed documents proving its importance and its danger. 
Cambon justified his financial laws and his integrity, which was universally 
known and admired, in a post which offered such strong temptations. He 
spoke with his usual impetuosity : he proved that none but stockjobbers 
could be hurt by his financial measures, and then, throwing off the reserve 
which had been kept up thus far, " It is high time," he exclaimed, ♦' to tell 
the whole truth. Is it I who deserve to be accused of having made myself 
master in any way ? The man who had made himself master of everything, 
the man who paralyzed your will, is the man who has just spoken — is 
Robespierre !" This vehemence disconcerted Robespierre. As if he had 
been accused of having played the tyrant in financial matters, he declared 
that he had never meddled with finances, that of course he could never con- 
trol the Convention in this matter, and that, at any rate, in attacking Cam- 
bon's plans, he meant not to attack his intentions. He had nevertheless 
called him a rogue. Billaud-Varennes, a no less formidable antagonist,! said 

• " The speech which Robespierre addressed to the Convention was as menacing; as the 
first distant rustle of the hurricane, and dark and lurid as the eclipse which announces its 
approach. The haughty and sullen dictator saw in the open slight which was put upon his 
measures and opinions, the sure mark of his approachinj^ fall." — Scolt's Life of Napoleon. E. 

+ " Billaud-Varennes was the most formidable of Rolx^spierre's antagonists. Both were 
amoitious of reigning over the ruins and the tombs with which they had covered France. 
But Robespierre had reached the poiat where his ambition could no longer be concealed 


that it was high time to bring forward all truths in evidence. He spoke of 
the absence of Robespierre from the committees, of the removal of the com- 
panies of artillery, only fifteen of which had been sent away, though the 
law allowed twenty-four to be despatched. He added that he was deter- 
mined to tear off all masks, and he had rather that his dead body should 
serve for a footstool to an ambitious man, than authorize his proceedings by 
his silence. He demanded the report of the decree which ordered the print- 
ing of the speech. Panis complained of the continual calumnies of Robes- 
pierre, who wished to make him pass for the author of the massacres of 
September; and he challenged him and Couihon to speak out respecting the 
five or six deputies, the sacrifice of whom they had been for a month past 
incessantly demanding at the Jacobins. On all sides this explanation was 
called for. Robespierre replied with hesitation that he had come to unveil 
abuses, and had not undertaken to justify or accuse this or the other person. 
" Name, name the individuals !" was the cry. Robespierre still shuffled 
and said, that " after he had had the courage to communicate to the Conven- 
tion counsels which he deemed useful, he did not think — " He was again 
interrupted. *' You who pretend to have the courage of virtue," cried 
Charlier, "have that of truth. Name, name the individuals !" The confu- 
sion increased. The question of printing was resumed. Amar insisted on 
referring the speech to the committee. Barr^re, perceiving the advantage of 
siding with those who were referring to the committees, made a sort of 
apology for having proposed a different course. At last the Convention 
revoked its decision, and declared that Robespierre's speech, instead of being 
printed, should he referred to the consideration of the two committees. 

This sitting was a truly extraordinary event. All the deputies, habitually 
so submissive, had again taken courage. As for Robespierre, who never 
had anything but superciliousness without daring, he was surprised, vexed, 
and dejected. He had need to recruit himself; he hurried to his trusty 
Jacobins, to meet his friends and to borrow courage from them. They were 
already apprized of the event. He was impatiently expected. No sooner 
did he appear than he was greeted with applause. Couthon followed him, 
and »hared the acclamations. He was requested to read the speech. Robes- 
pierre took up two full hours in repeating it to them. They interrupted him 
every moment by frenzied shouts and plaudits. As soon as he had finished, 
he added a few words of mortification and grief. " This speech which you 
have just heard," said he, "is my last will and testament. This I perceived 
to-day. The league of the wicked is so strong that I cannot hope to escape 
it. I fall without regret; I leave you my memory; it will be dear to you, 
and you will defend it." At these words, his friends cried out that it was 
not time to give way to fear and despair, that on the contrary they would 
avenge the father of the country on all the wicked united. Henriot, Dumas, 
Cofinhal, and Payen, surrounded him and declared that they were quite ready 
to act. Henriot said that he still knew the way to the Convention. " Sepa- 
rate the wicked from the weak," said Robespierre to them, "deliver the 
Convention from the villains who oppress it : render it tlie service which it 
expects of you, as on the 31st of May and the 2d of June. March, and once 
more save liberty. If, in spite of all these efforts, we must fall, why then 

Billaad was itill able to dissemble bis. The tyrant was as lugubrious as death, which erer 
aUended him ia all his steps , such, and perhaps more gloomy still, was Billaud ; but he 
enveloped his projects in deeper obscurity, and prepared bis blow* with greater art." — Lch 
creielle. E. 


my fnends you shall see me drink hemlock with composure." — " Robes- 
pierre," exclaimed a deputy, "I will drink it with thee !"* 

Couthon proposed to the society a new purificatory scrutiny, and insisted 
on the instant expulsion of the deputies who had voted against Robespierre ; 
he had a list of them which he immediately furnished. Ilis motion was 
carried amidst frightful uproar. CoUot-d'Herbois came forward to make 
some observations, but was received with yells. He spoke of his services, 
of his dangers, of the attempt of Admiral. He was sneered at, abused, and 
driven from the tribune. All the deputies present, and pointed out by Cou- 
thon, were expelled, some of them even with blows. Collot escaped from 
amidst the knives pointed against him. The society was reinforced on that 
day by all the acting men, who in moments of disturbance gained admission 
either with false tickets or without any. They added violence to words, and 
they were even quite ready to add murder. Payen, the national agent, who 
was a man of execution, proposed a bold plan. He said that all the conspi- 
rators were in the two committees, that they were at that moment assembled, 
and that they ought to go and secure them ; the struggle might thus be ter- 
minated without combat by a coup-de-main. Robespierre opposed this 
scheme ; he disliked such prompt actions ; he thought that it would be better 
to pursue the same course as on the 31st of May. A solemn petition had 
already been presented ; he had made a speech ; St. Just, who had lately 
arrived from the army, was to make a report next morning ; he, Robespierre, 
would again speak, and if they were unsuccessful, the magistrates of the peo- 
ple, meanwhile assembled at the commune and supported by the armed force 
of the sections, would declare that the people had resume^ its sovereignty, 
and would proceed to deliver the Convention from the villains who misled it. 

The plan was thus fixed by precedents. The meeting broke up, promis- 
ing for the next day, Robespierre to be at the Convention, the Jacobins in 
their hall, the municipal magistrates at the commune, and Henriot at the 
head of the sections. They reckoned, moreover, upon the youths in the school 
of Mars, the commandant of which, Labreteche, was devoted to the cause of 
the commune. 

Such were the proceedings on this 8th of Thermidor, the last day of the 
sanguinary tyranny which had afflicted France ; but on that day too the hor- 
rible revolutionary machine did not cease acting. The tribunal had sat ; 
victims had been conveyed to the scaffold. In their number were two emi- 
nent poets, Roucher, author of Les Alers, and .Andre Chenier, who left 
admirable compositions, and whom France will regret as much as all the 
young men of genius, orators, writers, generals, devoured by the scaffold and 
by the war.t These two sons of the Muses cheered one another when in 

* " The artist, David, caught Robespierre by the hand as he closed, exclaiming, in rapture 
at his elocution, ' I will drink the cup with thee !' This distinguished painter has l>een re- 
proached as having, on the subsequent day, declined the pledge which he seemed ao eagerly 
to embrace. But there were many of his original opinion at the time he expreesed it so 
boldly ; and, bad Robespierre possessed either military talents or even decided courage, there 
was nothing to have prevented him from placing himself that very aight at the head of a 
desperate insurrection of the Jacobins and thoir followers." — Scott^s Life of Napoleon, E. 

-(- "The son of BufTon, the daughter of Vemet, perished without regard to the illustrious 
names they t>ore. Roucher, an amiable poet, a few hours before his death, sent his miniature 
to his children, accompanied by some touching lines. Chenier, a young man, whose elo> 
quenl writings pointed him out as the future historian of the Revolution, and Champfort, 
one of its earliest and able supporters, were executed at the same time. A few weeks longer 
would have swept off the whole literary talent as well as dignified names of France." — 
Alison, £. 


the fatal cart by reciting verses of Racine's. ' Young Andr^, on mounting the 
scaffold, uttered the cry of genius stopped short in its career. "To die so 
young !" he exclaimed, striking his forehead ; •' there waa something 
there !"• 

During the night which followed, there was agitation in all quarters, and 
every one tliought of collecting his strength. The two committees had met, 
and were deliberating on the important events of the day and on tliose likely 
to arise on the morrow. What had passed at the Jacobins proved that the 

* " Another celebrated victim of party violence, who fell aboat this time, though not by the 
giuillotine, was CondorceU Having attached himself to the party of Brissot he was involved 
in ita ruin. At the period of the arrest of the members of that party, he escaped the search 
of the victors, and secreted himself. He was received in Paris by a woman who only knew 
him from reputation, and generously afforded him an asylum. There he remained till the 
domiciliary visits in 1794, when, in order as it is believed not to expose his hostess to danger, 
he quitted his retreat, and succeeded in getting out of Paris without a civic card, and with a 
white cap on his head. He had wandered about for several days in the environs of Clamart 
and of Fontenay de Roses, and in the woods of Verriere, two or three leagues from Paris. 
M. Suard, who bad been his intimate friend, in whose house he had lodged, but who had 
ceased to see him af\er the death of the King, had a house at Fontenay, consisting of two 
corps de logis, one of which was let to M. de Monville, councillor to the parliament. Con- 
dorcet knocked one morning at M. de Monville's door, conceiving that it was that of M. Suard. 
It was opened by the footman. The unfortunate fugitive looked like a pauper, having a long 
beard, a shabby dress, being lame from a hart in one foot, and ready to die of hunger after 
passing several days in the woods. 'Good God, sir!' said the servant, 'how sorry I am 
to see you in this condition.' — 'How do you know who I am 7* — 'O! sir; I have waited 
on you many a time at M. Trudaine's.' — ' Can you admit me V — 'Alas ! no, air ; my master 
is no friend of yourS.' — 'Is not this M. Suard's V — 'No, sir; that is his door.' Condorcet 
accordingly went to the house of Suard and met with him. Suard sent his maid-servant out 
of the way, and Condorcet acquainted him with his situation. He set bread, cheese, and 
wine before him. Condorcet told him that in the retreat which he had just left in Paris, he 
had written an ' Historical Sketch of the Progress of the Human Mind,' which he had com- 
mitted to safe hands, and which was intended for publication. He talked with much feeling 
of his daughter, and likewise of his wife, but with indifference ; and yet he would have given 
him a sum of 600 livres for her. Suard durst not take it ; but he offered to go immediately 
to Paris and strive to obtain for him an invalid's pass, which might supply the place of a civic 
ticket ; and they agreed that Condorcet should call next day fur this sort of safe-conduct. 
He asked for a Horace and some snuff, of which he had felt very urgent want. Some anuff 
was put up in a paper for him, but unluckily he went away without it Suard hastened to 
Paris, and obtained a sort of old invalid's pass, such as used to be given to soldiers leaving 
the hospital to enable them to go from one department to another. Suard returned with this 
informal passport, and waited for Condorcet, who was to be with him at eight o'clock in the 
evening of the following day; but he did not come, and it was not till the night of the third 
day that he heard that a man had been apprehended at Clamart, whom he supposed to be 
Condorcet ; and so it actually turned out. On leaving Suard's, taking with him a piece of 
bread, he had returned to the woods of Verriere, where he had passed the night Next 
morning, he had gone to Clamart, and was greedily eating an omelette at a public-house, 
when his long beard, his squalid appearance, and his restless manner, attracted the notice of 
one of those voluntary spies who then infested all France. This man inquired who he was, 
whence he came, whither he was going, and where was his ticket of citizen. Condorcet, at 
all times embarrassed to speak and give a direct answer, said at first that he was servant to a 
councillor of the Court of Aids, concerning whom he could give true particulars on account 
of his intimacy with him. But his answers not appearing sufficient the spy took him to 
Bourg la Reine, the seat of the district where, as he could not give a satisfactory account of 
himself, he was thrown into prison. Next morning he was found dead ; having taken stra- 
monium combined with opium, which he always carried about him. Hence it was that on 
parting from Suard he had said, ' If I have but one night before nw, I do not fear them : but 
I will not be taken to Paris.' The poison which he took seemed to have operated gently 
without causing pain or convulsion. The surgeon employed to aseertcin the cause of di>ath, 
declared in the procea verbal that this man, whose real name waa not known, had died of 
apoplexy. The blood was still issuing from his nooe." — Memoiri of Ihe Abb/ Murtlkt. E. 


mayor and Henriot were for the triumvirs, and that on the next day they 
should have to combat the whole force of the communes. To cause tliese 
two principal leaders to be apprehended would have been the most prudent 
course, but the committees still hesitated ; they would and they would not ; 
they seemed to feel a sort of regret that they had begun the struggle. They 
were aware that, if the Convention were strong enough to vanquish Robes- 
pierre, it would recover all its powers, and that they should be rescued from 
the strokes of their rival, but dispossessed of the dictatorship. It would no 
doubt have been much better to have come to terms with him ; but it was 
now too late for that. Robespierre had taken good care not to go near them, 
after the sitting at the Jacobins. St. Just, who had arrived from the army a 
short time before, was watching them. He was silent ; he had announced 
the report which he had been directed to draw up at the time of the last 
interview. He was asked for it ; the committees wished to hear it read ; he 
replied that he had it not with him, but had given it to one of his colleagues 
to read. He was requested to state the conclusion ; he refused that also. 
At this moment CoUot entered, incensed at the treatment which he had ex- 
perienced at the Jacobins. " What are they doing at the Jacobins ?" said 
St. Just to him. " Canst thou ask ?" replied CoUot angrily; " art thou not 
the accomplice of Robespierre ? have you not concerted your plans together ? 
I see clearly that you have formed an infamous triumvirate, and that you 
design to murder us ; but if we fall you will not long enjoy the fruit of your 
crimes." Then, going up to St. Just with vehemence, "Thou intendest," 
said he, " to denounce us to-morrow morning ; thou hast thy pocket full of 
notes against us — produce them." St. Just emptied his pockets, and assured 
CoUot that he had nothing of the kind. Collot was appeased, and St. Just 
was desired to come at eleven the following day to communicate his report 
before he read it to the Assembly. The committees, before they separated, 
agreed to solicit the Convention to remove Henriot, and to summon the 
mayor and the national agent to the bar. 

St. Just hastened away to prepare his report, which was not yet written, 
and denounced, with greater brevity and force than Robespierre had done, 
the conduct of the committees towards their colleagues, tlieir seizure of all 
affairs, the pride of Billaud-Varennes, and the false manoeuvres of Camot, 
who had transported Pichegru's army to the coasts of Flanders, and had 
meant to take sixteen thousand men from Jourdan. This report was as 
perfidious and as clever, though in a very different way, as that of Robes- 
pierre. St. Just resolved to read it to the Convention without communicating 
it to the committees. 

While the conspirators were concerting together, the Mountaineers, who 
had hitherto gone no further than to communicate their apprehensions to one 
another, but had formed no plot, ran to each other's houses, and agreed to 
attack Robespierre in a more formal manner on the following day, and to 
obtain a decree against him if possible. For this they should need the con- 
currence of the deputies of the Plain, whom they had frequently threatened, 
and whom Robespierre, affecting the character of moderator, had formerly 
defended. They had therefore but slight claims to their favour. They 
called upon Boissy-d'Anglais, Durand-Maillane, and Palasne-Champeaux, 
who were all three Constituents, and whose example was likely to decide the 
others. They told them that they would be accountable for all the blood 
that Robespierre might yki spill, if they did not agree to vote against him 
Repulsed at first, they returned three times to the charge, and at length oh 
tained the desired promise. They ran about the whole of tlie morning of the 


9th ; Tallien promised to make the first attack, and only desired that others 
would have the courage to follow him. 

Every one hastened to his post. Fleuriot, the mayor, and Payen, the 
national agent, were at the commune. Henriot was on horseback with his 
aides-de-camp, riding through tlie streets of Paris. The Jacobins had com- 
menced a permanent sitting. The deputies, astir early in the morning, had 
gone to the Convention before the usual hour. They paced the passages 
tumultuously, and the Mountaineers addressed them with vehemence to 
decide them in their favour. It was half-past eleven o'clock. Tallien was 
speaking to some of his colleagues at one of the doors of the hall, when he 
saw St. Just enter and ascend the tribune. " This is the moment !" he 
exclaimed ; " let us go in." They followed him ; the benches filled ; and 
the Assembly awaited in silence the opening of that scene, one of the grand- 
est in our stormy revolution. 

St. Just, who had broken the promise given to his colleagues, and not 
gone to read his report to them, was in the tribune. The two Robespierres, 
Lebas, and Couthon, were seated beside one another.* CoUot-d'Herbois 
occupied the chair. St. Just said that he was commissioned by the com- 
mittees to make a report, and was permitted to speak. He set out with 
asserting that he was of no faction, and that he belonged only to truth ; that 
the tribune might prove the Tarpeian rock to him as to many others, but 
that he should nevertheless give his opinion without reserve concerning the 
dissensions which had broken out. He had scarcely finished these prelimi- 
nary sentences, when Tallien asked leave to speak on a motion of order, and 
obtained it. " The republic," said he, " is in the most unfortunate condition, 
and no good citizen can help shedding tears over it. Yesterday a member 
of the government separated himself and denounced his colleagues ; another 
is doing the same to-day. This is only aggravating our calamities. I de- 
sire that at length the veil may be entirely torn off." Scarcely were these 
words uttered when applause burst forth. It was prolonged and renewed 
again and again. This was the premonitory signal of the fall of the triumvirs. 
Billaud-Varennes, who took possession of the tribune after Tallien, said that 
the Jacobins had the preceding evening held a seditious sitting, which was 
attended by hired murderers, who avowed a design of slaughtering the Con- 
vention. General indignation was manifested. "I see," added Billaud- 
Varennes, "I see in the tribunes one of the men who yesterday threat- 
ened the faithful deputies. Let him be secured." He was immediately 
seized and given into the custody of the gendarmes. Billaud then maintained 
that St. Just had no right to speak in the name of the committees, because 
he had not communicated his report to them ; that this was the moment for 
the Assembly to be firm, for it must perish if it showed any weakness. 
" No, no," cried the deputies, waving their hats ; " it will not be weak ; it 
shall not perish." Lebas insisted on speaking before Billaud had finished ; 
•and made a great noise to carry his point. At the desire of all the deputies, 
he was called to order. He renewed his demand to be heard. " To ilie 
Abbaye with the seditious fellow !" cried several voices of the Mountain. 
Billaud continued, and, throwing off all reserve, said that Robespierre had 
always sought to control the committees; that he seceded, when they resisted 
the law of the 22d of Prairial and the use which he purposed to make of it; 

• " When St Just mounted the tribune, Robespierre took his station on the bench directly 
opposite, to intimidate his adversaries by his look. His knees trembled ; the colour fled from 
his lips as he ascended to his seat ; the hostile appearance of the Assembly already gave him 
an anticipation of hia fate." — Alison.' £. 


that he was for retaining the noble Lavalette, a conspirator at Lille, in the 
national guard ; that he prevented the arrest of Henriot, an accomplice of 
Hebert's, in order to make him his creature ; that he moreover opposed the 
apprehension of a secretary of the committee, who had embezzled one hun- 
dred and fourteen thousand francs ; that he had caused the best revolutionary 
committee of Paris to be closed by means of his office of police ; that he 
always had done just what he pleased, and designed to make himself abso- 
lute master. Billaud added that he could adduce many other facts, but it 
would be sufficient to say that, on the preceding day, Robespierre's agents 
4t the Jacobins, the Dumases and the Cofinhals, promised to decimate the 
National Convention. 

While Billaud was enumerating these grievances, bursts of indignation at 
times escaped the Assembly. Robespierre, livid with rage, had left his seat 
and ascended the steps of the tribune. Posted behind Billaud, he demanded 
of the president with extreme violence permission to speak. He seized the 
moment when Billaud had finished, to renew his demand with still greater 
vehemence. " Down with the tyrant ! Down with the tyrant !" was 
shouted in all parts of the hall. Twice was this accusing cry raised, and it 
proclaimed that the Assembly dared at length to give him the name which 
he deserved. While he was persisting, Tallien, who had darted to the tri- 
bune, claimed permission to speak, and obtained it before him. "Just 
now," said he, " I desired that the veil might be entirely torn off; I now 
perceive that it is. The conspirators are unmasked. I knew that my life 
was threatened, and hitherto I have kept silence ; but yesterday I attended 
the sitting of the Jacobins, I saw the army of the new Cromwell formed, I 
trembled for my country, and I armed myself with a dagger, resolved to plunge 
it into his bosom, if the Convention had not the courage to pass a decree of 
accusation." As he finished these words, Tallien exhibited his dagger, and 
the Assembly covered him with applause. He then proposed the arrest of 
Henriot, the chief of the conspirators. Billaud proposed to add that of Du- 
mas, the president, and of a man named Boulanger, who had been the day 
before one of the most violent agitators at the Jacobins. The apprehension 
of those three culprits was immediately decreed. 

At this moment Barrere entered to submit to the Assembly the propositions 
upon which the committee had deliberated in the night, before it broke up. 
Robespierre, who had not quitted the tribune, took advantage of this interval 
again to demand leave to speak. His adversaries were determined to refuse 
it, lest any lurking relic of fear or servility should be awakened by his voice. 
Placed, all of them, at the summit of the Mountain, they raised fresh cla- 
mours, and, while Robespierre was turning first to the president, then to the 
Assembly, shouted with voices of thunder, " Down ! down with the tyrant!" 
At length Barrere was allowed to speak before Robespierre. It is said that 
this man, who, out of vanity, was desirous of playing a part, and now trem- 
bled from weakness at having given himself one, had two speeches in his 
pocket, one in favour of Robespierre, the other for the committees.* He 
developed the proposition adopted the night before, namely, to abolish the 
post of commandant-general, to re-establish that old law of the Legislative 
Assembly, by which each chief of a legion commanded in turn the armed 
force of Paris, and lastly to summon to the bar the mayor and the national 

• " Barrere was a lort of Belial In the Convention, the meanest, yet not the least able, 
amongst those fallen spirits, who, with great adroitness and ingenuity, as well as wit and elo- 
quence, caught opportunities as they arose, and was^cminenUy dexterous in being always 
strong upon the strongest and safe upon the safest side." — Scott't Life of Napoleon. E. 


agent, to answer there for the tranquillity of the capital. TTiis decree was 
forthwitli passed, and a messenger went to communicate it to the commune 
amidst the greatest dangers. 

When the decree proposed by Barrere had been adopted, the enumeration 
of Robespierre's misdeeds was resumed. Each came in turn to prefer his 
charge. Vadier, who fancied that he had discovered an important conspiracy 
in seizing C^atherine Theot, stated what he had not done the preceding day, 
that Dom Gerle* had a certificate of civism signed by Robespierre, and that 
in Catherine's mattress had been found a letter in which she called Robes- 
pierre her beloved son. He then expatiated on the eapionnage with which 
committees were surrounded, with the prolixity of age and a slowness 
uited to the agitation of the moment. Tallien, impatient, reascended the 
uibune and again addressed the Assembly, saying that the question ouglit to 
be brought back to its real drift. A decree had, in fact, been passed against 
Henriot, Dumas, and Boulanger, and Robespierre had been called a tyrant, 
but no decisive resolution had been taken. Tallien observed that it was not 
a few circumstances in the life of that man, called a tyrant, on which they 
diisfht to fasten, but that the whole of it ought to be taken together. He then 
unenced an energetic picture of the conduct of that cowardly, supercilious, 
1 bloodthirsty orator. Robespierre, choked with rage, interrupted him 
ii cries of fury. "Let us put an end to this," said Louchet; "arrest 
lust Robespierre!" — "Accusation against the denunciator!" added Lo- 
u, "Arrest! Accusation !" shouted a great number of deputies. Louchet 
ju?e, and looking around him, asked if he was seconded. "Yes, yes," re- 
plied a hundred voices. Robespierre the younger said from his place: "I 
share the crimes of my brother ; let me share his fate." This devotedness 
was scarcely noticed. "The arrest! The arrest!" was still shouted. At 
this moment Robespierre, who had not ceased to pass from his place to the 
bureau and from the bureau to his place, again went up to the president and 
demanded leave to speak. But Thuriot, who had succeeded CoUot-d'IIer- 
bois in the chair, answered him only by ringing the bell. Robespierre then 
turned towards the Mountain, where he observed only cold friends or furious 
enemies. He next turned his eyes towards the Plain. " To you," said he, 
" pure men, virtuous men, I address myself, and not to ruffians." They 
turned away their faces or used threatening gestures. Once more he ad- 
dressed the president. "For the last time," he exclaimed, " president of 
assassins, I desire to be heard. "t He uttered the concluding words in a 

• " Catherine Theot died in the prison of the Concicrgerie at the age of seventy ; Dom 
Cierle, who was also im{)risont-d there, was afterwards liberated, and employed, during the 
reign of Napoleon, in the office of the home department." — Scuffs Lift of Napoleon. E. 

f " While the vaults of the hall echotnl witli exclamations from those who had hitherto 
been the accomplices, the flatterers, the followers, the timid and overawed assentators to the 
dethroned demagogue — he himself, breathless, foaming, exhausted, like the hunter of classi- 
cal antiquity when on the point of being torn to pieces by his own dogs, tried in vain to 
raise those screeching notes by which the Convention had formerly l)cen terrified and put to 
silence. We have been told that Roliespierre's last audible words, contending against the 
exclamations of hundreds and the bell which the president was ringing incessantly, and 
uttered in the highest tones which despair could give to a voice naturally shrill and discord- 
ant, dwelt long on the memory, and haunted the dreams, of many who heard him." — Scott's 
Life of Napoleon. E. 

" Dispirited by so many repulses, Roliespierre returned to his place, and sunk back in his 
seat, exhausted with passii)n and fatigue. His mouth foame<l — his voice grew thick. He 
waa arrested amid shouts of joy, and, as he went out, said, in the hollow accents of despair, 
' The republic is lost, the brigands triumph !' " — Mignet. E. 
VOL. 111. — 13 I 


faint and stifled voice. "The blood of Danton chokes thee !"- said Gamier 
of the Aube. Impatient of this struggle, Duval rose and said, " President, 
is this man to be master of the Convention any longer?" — "Ah!" added 
Freron, "how hard a tyrant is to beat down!" — "To the vote! To the 
vote !" cried Loseau. The arrest so generally called for was put to the vote, 
and decreed amidst tremendous uproar. No sooner was the decree passed, 
than the members in all parts of the hall rose, shouting, " Liberty forever ! 
The republic forever! The tyrants are no more !" 

A great number of members rose and said, that they meant to vote for the 
arrest of Robespierre's accomplices, St. Just and Coulhon. They were im- 
mediately included in the decree. Lebas desired to be associated with them. 
His wish was granted, as well as that of the younger Robespierre. These 
men still excited such apprehension, that the ushers of the liall had not dared 
to come forward to take them to the bar. On seeing them retain their seats, 
some of the members asked why they did not go down to the place of tlic 
accused. The president replied that the ushers had not been able to carry the 
order into execution. "To the bar ! To the bar!" was the general cry. 
The five accused went down, Robespierre furious, St. Just cahn and con- 
temptuous, the others thunderstruck at this humiliation so new to them. 
They were at length at that place to which they had sent Vergniaud, Bris- 
sot, Petion, Camille-Desmoulins, Danton, and so many others of their col- 
leagues, full of virtue, genius, or courage ! 

It was now five o'clock. The Assembly had declared its sitting perma- 
nent. But at that moment, worn out with fatigue, it took the dangerous 
resolution to suspend the sitting till seven, for the purpose of refreshment. 
The deputies then separated, leaving to the commune, if it had pi> 
any boldness, the opportunity of closing the place of its sittings, and 
the control of Paris. The five accused were conducted to the commiiioe of 
general safety to be examined by their colleagues before they were conveyed 
to prison. 

While these important events were occurring in the Convention, the com- 
mune had remained" in suspense. Courvol, the messenger, had gone to 
communicate to it the decree which placed Henriot under arrest and sum- 
moned the mayor and the national agent to the bar. He had been very 
unfavourably received. He asked for a receipt, but the mayor replied, "On 
such a day as this we give no receipts. Go to the Convention, say that we 
s^all find means to uphold it : and tell Robespierre not to lie afraid, for we 
are here." The mayor had afterwards expressed himself before the general 
council in the most mysterious manner respecting the motive of the meeting; 
he had spoken to it only of the decree ordering the commune to provide for 
the tranquillity of Paris ; he had reminded it of the epochs when that com- 
mune had displayed great courage, and had alluded very plainly to the 3 1st 
of May. Payen, tlie national agent, speaking after the mayor, had proposed 
to send two members of the council to the Place de la Commune, where 
there was an immen-«e crowd, to harangue the people, and to invite them to 
join the magistralea in order to save the cotmtrif. An address had been 
drawn up, in which it was said that villains were oppressing " Robespierre, 

• " In the height of the terrible conflirt, when Robespierre seemed Jeprived by rage of the 
power of ariiculnlion, a voice crieJ out, ' It is Dnnton's bioo<l that is choking you !' Rol>e«- 
pierre, indit^nant, recovered his voice and his couraRe to exclnim, ' Uanton ! Is it then Dan- 
ton you regret ! Cowards ! why did not you defttwl him V There was spirit, truth, antl 
even dignity in this bitter retort — the last words that Robespierre ever spoke in pul)Uc" — 
Quar'trli/ Review. E. 


riiat virtuous citizen, who caused the cheering worship of the Supreme Be- 
ing and the immortality of the soul to be decreed ; St. Just, that apostle of 
virtue, who put an end to treason at the Rhine and in the North ; Couthon, 
that virtuous citizen, whose body and head alone were alive, but burning 
with patriotism."* Immediately afterwards, it was resolved that the sections 
should be convoked ; and that the presidents and the commandants of the 
armed force should be summoned to the commune to receive its orders. A 
deputation had been sent to the Jacobins, to invite them to come and frater- 
nize with the commune, and to send to the general council the most energetic 
of their members, and a good number of citizens and citizenesses of the 
tribunes. Without yet mentioning insurrection, the commune took all the 
requisite steps, and evidently had that object in view. It was not aware of 
tlie arrest of the five deputies, and on this account it still maintained some 

Meanwhile Henriot had mounted his horse, and was riding through the 
streets of Paris. Hearing, by the way, of the arrest of five representatives, 
he strove to excite the people to rise, crying out that villains were oppress- ^ 
ing the faithful deputies, and that they had arrested Couthon, St. Just, and 
Robespierre. This wretch was half-drunk ; he rocked upon his horse, and 
flourished his sword like a maniac. He first proceeded to the fauxbourg 
St. Antoine, to rouse the working people of that fauxbourg, who scarcely 
comprehended what he meant, and who had besides begun to pity the vic- 
tims whom they daily saw passing to the scaffold. By an unlucky chance, 
Henriot met the carts. These were surrounded as soon as the arrest of Ro- 
bespierre was known ; and, as Robespierre was considered as the author of 
all the murders, it was conceived that, he being apprehended, the executions 
would cease. The people would have made them turn back with the con- 
demned. Henriot, who came up at this moment, opposed this intention, 
and caused this last execution to be consummated. He then returned, still 
at full gallop to the Luxembourg, and ordered the gendarmerie to assemble 
in the Place of the communal house. Taking with him a detachment, he 
then went along the quays, intending to proceed to the Place du Carrousel, 
and to deliver the prisoners who were before the committee of general safety. 
As he was galloping upon the quays with his aids-de-camp, he threw down 
several persons. A man, who had his wife on his arm, turned towards the gen- 
darmes and cried, " Gendarmes, arrest that ruffian ! he is iw) longer your gene- 
ral." An aide-de-camp rejjlied by a cut with his sword. Henriot proceeded, 
dashing tlirough the Rue St. Honore, and, on reaching the Place of the 
Palais-Egalite (Palais-Royal), perceiving Merlin of Thionville, he made up 
to him shouting, " Arrest that scoundrel ! he is one of those who persecute 
the faithful representatives." Merlin was seized, maltreated, and taken to 
the nearest guard-house. Henriot continued his course and arrived at tlie 
courts of the National Palace. Here he made his companions alight, and 
endeavoured to penetrate into the building. The grenadiers refused him ad- 
mittance, and crossed their bayonets. At this moment, a messenger advanced 
and said, " Gendarmes, arrest that rebel ! a decree of the Convention orders 
you to do so." Henriot was immediately surrounded and disarmed, 
together with several of his aids-de-camp : they were pinioned and conducted 

• The following was the proclamation issued from the Hotel de Ville : " Brothers and 
friends, the country is in imminent danger! The wicked have mastered the Convention, 
where they hold in chains the virtuous Robespierre. To arms ! To arms ! Lot us not 
lotie the fruiu of the 18th of August aiid the 2d of June. Death to the traitors !" — History 
of the Convention. E. 


to the hall of the committee of general safety, and placed beside Robespierre, 
Couthon, St. Just, and Lebas. 

Thus far all went on well for the Convention. Its decrees, boldly passed, 
were successfully executed ; but the commune and the Jacobins, which 
had not openly proclaimed the insurrection, were now ready to break forth, 
and to realize their plan for another 2d of June. Fortunately, while the 
Convention imprudently suspended its sitting, the commune did the same, 
and thus the time was lost by both sides. 

The council did not meet again till six o'clock. At this resumption of 
the sitting, the arrest of the five deputies and of Henriot was known. The 
council could no longer abstain from acting, and declared itself in insurrec- 
tion against the oppressors of the people, who were bent on the destruction 
of its defenders. It ordered the tocsin to be rung at the Hotel de Ville and 
in all the sections. It sent one of its members to each of them, to excite 
them to insurrection, and to decide them to send their battalions to the com- 
mune. It despatched gendarmes to close the barriers, and ordered all the 
keepers of the prisons not to- admit any prisoners who should be brought to 
them. Lastly, it appointed a commission of twelve members, among whom 
were Payen and Cofinhal, to direct the insurrection, and to exercise all the 
sovereign powers of the people. At this moment, some battalions of the 
sections, several companies of artillery, and great part of the gendarmerie, 
had already been collected in the Place de la Commune. The oath was 
begun to be administered to the commandants of the battalions assembled. 
Cofinhal was then ordered to repair, with a few hundred men, to the Con- 
vention, to liberate the prisoners. 

Robespierre the elder had already been conveyed to the Luxembourg, his 
brother to the house of Lazare, Couthon to Port-Libre, St. Just to the Ecos- 
sais, and Lebas to the house of justice of the department. The order issued 
by the commune to the keepers had been executed, and they refused to admit 
the prisoners. The administrators of police had taken charge of them and 
conveyed them in carriages to the mairie. When Robespierre appeared,* 
people embraced him, loaded him with demonstrations of attachment, and 
swore to die in his defence and that of the faithful deputies. Meanwhile 
Henriot was left alone at the committee of general safety. Cofinhal, vice- 
presi(}ent of the Jacobins, arrived there sword in hand, with some compa- 
nies of the sections, took possession of the rooms of the committee, expelled 
the members, and released Henriot and his aids-de-camp. Henriot, as soon 
as he was liberated, hastened to the Place du Carrousel, where he found his 
horses still waiting, leaped upon one of them, and with great presence of 
mind, told the companies of tlie sections and the artillery about him that the 
committee had just declared him innocent, and reinstated him in the com- 
mand. The men rallied around him, and, followed by a considerable force, 
he began to give orders against the Convention, and to prepare for besieging 
the hall. 

It was now seven o'clock in the evening. The Convention was only just 
reassembling; and during th6 interval the commune had gained great advan- 
tages. It had, as we have seen, proclaimed the insurrection, collected 
around it many companies of artillery and gendarmes, and released the pri- 
soners. It might, with boldness, march promptly upon the Convention, and 

* " Robespierre now appeared altof^ther confounded and overwhelmed with what bad 
passed and was passing; around him ; und not one of all the victims nf the Reign of Terror 
felt its disabling influence so completely as be — the despot — who bad so long directed iu 
•way." — ikott'a Life of Nupokon. £. 


force it to revoke its decrees. It reckoned, moreover, upon tlie School of 
Mars, the cominaudant of which, Labreteche, was wholly devoted to it. 

The deputies as;^eiubled tuniultuously, and communicated to each other 
with consternation the news of the evening. The members of the commit^ 
tees, alarmed and undecided, had met in a room next the president's bureau. 
There tliey were deliberating, undecided what course to pursue. Several 
deputies successively occupied the tribune, and related what was passing in 
Paris. It was stated that the prisoners were liberated, that the commune 
had met at tlie Jacobins, that it had already a considerable force at its dis- 
posal, and that the Convention would soon be besieged. Bourdon proposed 
to go out in a body and show themselvft to the people, in order to bring 
them over to their side. Legendre strove to infuse confidence into the As- 
sembly saying that it would everywhere find only pure and faithful Moun- 
taineers ready to defend it ; ana in this danger he displayed a courage which 
he had not shown against Robespierre. Billaud mounted tlie tribune, and 
intimated that Henriot was in the Place du Carrousel, that he had won the 
artillery, caused the guns to be turned against the hall of the Convention, 
and was about to commence the attack. CoUot-d'Herbois then went up to 
the chair, which, from the arrangements of the hall, must have received the 
first balls, and said, as he seated himself in it, '• Representatives ! the mo- 
ment is come for dying at our post. Villains have made themselves masters 
of the National Palace." At these words, all the deputies, some of whom 
were standing, others strolling about in the hall, took their places, and re- 
mained seated in majestic silence. All the citizens of the tribunal fled with 
a tremendous uproar, leaving behind them a cloud of dust. The Conven- 
tion, abandoned to itself, felt convinced that it was about to be slaughtered, 
but it was resolved to perish rather than endure a Cromwell. Who can help 
admiring on this occasion the influence of circumstances over courage ? The 
very same men, so long submissive to the orator who harangued them, now 
defied, with a sublime resignation, the cannon which He had caused to be 
pointed against tliem. Members of the Assembly were seen constantly 
going out and returning, bringing tidings of what was passing at the Car- 
rousel. Henriot was still issuing orders there. " Outlaw him ! Outlaw the 
ruffian !" was the cry in the hall. A decree of outlawry was immediately 
passed, and some of the deputies went to publish it before the National 

At this moment Henriot, who had misled the gunners, and induced them 
to turn their pieces against the hall, ordered them to fire ; but they hesitated 
to obey him. Some of the deputies cried out, " Gunners ! will you dis- 
grace yourselves? that ruffian is outlawed." The gunners then refused to 
obey Henriot. Abandoned by his men, he had but time to turn his horse's 
head and to seek i^fuge at the commune. 

The danger over, tlie Convention outlawed the deputies who had with- 
drawn themselves from its decrees, and all the members of the commune 
who were engaged in the insurrection. But this was not enough. If Hen- 
riot was no longer in the Place du Carrousel, the insurgents were yet at the 
commune with all their forces, and they had still the resource of a coup-de- 
main. It was incumbent on the Assembly to obviate this great danger. It 
deliberated without acting. In tlie room behind tlie bureau, where the com 
mittees had been joined by many of the representatives, it was proposed to 
appoint a commandant of the armed force taken from the bosom of the As- 
sembly. "Who shall it be?" was the question. "Ibarras," replied a 
voice; "he will have the courage to accept the appointment." Vouland 

I 2 


immediately hurried to the tribune and proposed that Banraa, the representa- 
tive, should be appointed to direct the armed force. The suggestion was 
adopted ; Barras was appointed, and seven other deputies were associated 
with him to command under his orders : Fr^ron, Ferrand, Rovere, Delmas, 
Boleti, Leonard Bourdon, and Bourdon of the Oise. To this proposal a 
member added another which was not less important, namely, to appoint re- 
presentatives to go and enlighten the sections, and to demand the assistance 
of their battalions. This last measure was the most important of all, for it 
was essential to decide the wavering or misguided sections. 

Barras hastened to the battalions already assembled, to acquaint them 
with his powers, and to post them*around the Convention.* The deputies 
despatched to the sections went to harangue them. At this moment most of 
them were undecided ; very few were in favour of the commune and of 
Robespierre. Every one had a horror of that atrocious system which was 
imputed to Robespierre, and desired an event that should deliver France from 
it. Fear, nevertheless, still paralyzed all the citizens. They durst not de- 
cide, nor give belief to the reports that were circulated. The commune, 
which the sections were accustomed to obey, had summoned them, and 
some, not daring to resist, had sent commissioners not to adhere to the plan 
of insurrection, but to inform themselves of what was passing. Paris was 
in a state of uncertainty and anxiety. The relatives of the prisoners, their 
friends, and all who were suflTering from that cruel system, sallied from their 
houses, approached nearer and nearer to the places where the uproar pre- 
vailed, and strove to gain some intelligence. The unfortunate prisoners, 
having from their barred windows perceived a great bustle, and heard a great 
noise, expected that something was about to happen, but trembled lest this 
new event should only aggravate their lot. The dejection of the gaolers, 
words whispered to the list-makers, and the •consternation which succeeded, 
had tended, however, to diminish doubts. It was soon known, from ex- 
pressions which were dropped, that Robespierre was in danger. Relatives 
had approached, placed themselves under the windows of the prisons, and 
indicated by signs what was passing; the prisoners had then collected and 
given way to the wildest joy. The base informers, trembling in their turn, 
had taken some of the suspected aside, endeavoured to justify themselves, 
and to convince them that they were not the authors of the lists of pro- 
scription. Some of them, admitting the fact, said that they had withdrawn 
names from them. One had given but forty names instead of two hundred, 
which were required of him ; another had destroyed entire lists. In their 
fright, these wretches reciprocally accused, and devoted one another to 

The deputies dispersed among the sections had no difficulty in getting the 
better of the obscure envoys of the commune. Those who* had sent off their 
battalions to the HAtel de Ville recalled them ; the others directed theirs to- 
wards the National Palace. That building was already surrounded by a 
sufficient force. Barras went to apprize the Assembly of this circumstance, 

• " Barras did not choose to wait till all his succours should arrive. He would not lose the 
opportunity of the first onset with men who had always been suffered to be^nn the attack. At 
soon as he had formed four or five battalions, ' My friends,' he cried, • the Convention is 
disposed to reward your alacrity in comini? first.' Applauses ensued — they marched. Barraa 
arrived with his battalions. He had so distributed them as to command every outlet from 
the scat of the commune. Night concealed their small number. The victory, than which 
none more essential to nations was ever obtained, was not even disputed. Of so many as- 
sassins, not one sought the honour of perishing in battle. Robespierre had not even appaor- 
ed in the midst of his revolutionary bands." — LacreUlle. E. 


and then hastened to the plain of Sablons to supersede Labreteche who was 
dismissed, and to bring the School of Mars to tbe aid of the Convention. 

The national representation was now safe from a cotip-de-muin. This 
was the moment for marching against the commune and taking the offensive, 
which it neglected to do. It was immediately resolved to march upon the 
Hotel de Vilie, and to surround it.* Leonard Bourdon, who was at the head 
of a great number of battalions, set out for the purpose. When he intimated 
that he was just starting to attack the rebels, "Go," said Tallien, who occu- 
pied the president's chair, " and let the sun, when he rises, find no conspi- 
rators alive." Leonard Bourdon debouched by the quays, and arrived at the 
Place of tlie Hotel de Ville. A great number of gendarmes, artillerymen, 
and armed citizens of the sections, were still there. An agent of the com- 
mittee of public welfare, named Dulac, had the courage to slip into their 
ranks, and to read to them the decree of the Convention which outlawed the 
commune. The respect which people had contracted for that assembly, in 
whose name everything had been done for two years past, respect for tlie 
words law and republic, triumphed. The battalions separated : some returned 
to their own homes, others joined Leonard Bourdon, and the Place de la 
Commune was deserted. Those who guarded, and those who came to 
attack it, drew up in the neighbouring streets, in order to close all the 

People had such an idea of the resolution of the conspirators, and were so 
astonished to find them almost motionless in the Hotel de Ville, that they 
were fearful of approaching. Leonard Bourdon was apprehensive that they 
had undermined the Hotel de Ville. This, however was not the case. They 
were deliberating tumultuously, and proposing to write to the armies and to 
the provinces, but they knew not in whose name to write, and durst not take 
any decisive step. Had Robespierre been a man of decision, had he ven- 
tured to show himself and to march against the Convention, he Avould have 
placed it in a dangerous predicament. But he was a mere talker, and, be- 
sides, he perceived, as did all his partisans along with him, that public opi- 
nion was forsaking them. The end of that frightful system had arrived. The 
Convention was everywhere obeyed, and the oudawries produced a magical 
effect. Had he been endowed with greater energy, he must have been dis- 
couraged by these circumstances, superior to any individual force. The 
decree of oudawry struck all with stupor, when it was communicated from 
the Place de la 'Commune to the Hotel de Ville. Pay en, to whom it was 
delivered, read it aloud, and, with great presence of mind, added to the list 
of the persons outlawed, the people in the tribunes, which was not in the 

• " The iMttalions of the national guards from all quarters now marched towards tlie Con- 
vention, and defiled through the hall in the midst of tbe most enthusiastic applause. At mid- 
night above three thousand men had arrived. 'The moments are precious,' said Freron; 
' the time for action has come. Let us instantly march against the rebels.' The order was 
promptly obeyed. The night wad dark ; a feeble moonlight only shone through the gloom ; 
but the forced illumination of the houses supplied a vivid light, which shone on the troops, 
who, in profound silence, marched from the Tuileries towards the Place de Greve, the head- 
quarters of the insurgents. There were about two thousand men stationed in the Place de 
Greve with a powerful train of artillery, when the light of the torches showed the hbads of 
the columns of the national guard appearing in all the avenues which led to the square. The 
moment was terrible. Ten pieces of the artillery of the Convention were placed in battery, 
while the cannoneers of the municipality, with their lighted matches in their hands, stood 
beside their guns on th« opposite side. But the authority of the law prevailed. Tbe decree 
of the legislature was read by torchlight, and the insurgent troops refused to resist it."— 
Alison. £. 



decree. Contrary to his expectation, the people in the trii)unes hurried off 
in alarm to avoid sharing in the anathema hurled by the Convention. The 
greatest dismay then seized the conspirators. Henriot went down to tfie 
Place to harangue the gunners, but he found not a single man. " What !" 
cried he, swearing, "do these rascally gunners, who saved me a few hours 
since, desert me now ?" He then went back furious to carry this new intel- 
ligence to the council. Despair overwhelmed the conspirators. They found 
themselves abandoned by their troops and surrounded on all sides by those 
of the Convention ; and mutually accused each other of being the cause of 
their unfortunate situation. Cofinhal, an energetic man, who had been ill- 
seconded, enraged against Henriot, said to him, "It is thy cowardice, villain, 
that has undone us !" Rushing upon him and seizing him round the waist, 
he threw him out of a window. The wretched Henriot fell upon a heap of 
filth, which broke the fall, and prevented it from proving mortal. Lebas put 
an end to his life with a pistol; the younger Robespierre* threw himself out 
of a window; St. Just continued calm and immoveable, holding a weapon in 
his hand, but without using it ; Robespierre at length decided to terminate 
his career, and attempted to commit suicide. He clapped a pistol to his 
head, but, the ball entering above the lip, merely pierced his cheek, and in- 
flicted a wound that was not dangerous.t 

At this moment a few bokl men, Dulac, Meda the gendarme, and several 
others, leaving Bourdon with his battalions in the Place de la Commune, 
went up, armed with swords and pistols, and entered the hall of the council, 
at the very instant when the two reports of fire-arms were heard. The mu- 
nicipal officers were going to take off their scarfs, but Dulac threatened to 
plunge his sword into the first who should attempt to divest himself of that 
distinguishing mark. Every one remained motionless : all the municipal 
officers, Payen, Fleuriot, Dumas, Cofinhal, &c., were secured; the wounded 
were carried away on handbarrows ; and the prisoners were conducted in 
triumph to the Convention. It was now three o'clock in the morning. 
Shouts of victory rang around the hall, and penetrated into it. Cries of 
"Liberty for ever! The Constitution for ever! Down with the tyrants!" 
then arose from all parts. " Representatives," said the president, " Robes- 
pierre and his accomplices are at the door of your hall : will you have them 
brought before you ?" — ^" No, no," was replied from all sides ; " to execution 
with the conspirators !" 

Robespierre was taken with his partisans to the hall of the committee of 
public welfare. He was laid upon a table, and some pieces of pasteboard 
were placed under his head. He had retained his presence of mind, and 
appeared unconcerned. He had on a blue coat, the same that he wore at the 

* " The youniDfer Robespierre had only jtMt returned from the army of Italy, wbitber lie 
had been sent by the ConviMition on a mission. He earnestly pressed Bonaparte to accom- 
pany him to Paris. 'Had I followed younR Robespierre,' said Napoloon, 'how dilTorent 
might have been my career ! On what trivial circumstances does human fate depend !"— 
Leu Crmfs. E. 

-j- " When the national p;uard rushed into the room where the ieailen* of the revolt were 
aaaembled, they found Robespierre sitting with his elbow on his knees, and his head resting 
on his hand. St. Just impi(>r(>d Lebas to put an end to his life. ' Coward ! follow my ex- 
ample,' said he, and l)lew out his brains. Couthon wa« seized under a table, feebly attempt- 
ing to strike with a knife, which he wanted the courage to plunge in his heart Robespierre 
and Couthon being supposed to be dead, wore dragged by the heels to the (juai Pelletier, 
where it was proposed to throw them into the river ; but it being discovered that they still 
breathed, they were stretched on a board, and conveyed to the committee of general saiaty.' 
— Alison. E. 


festival of the Supreme Being, nankeen breeches, and white stockings, 
which, amidst the tumult, had dropped down to his heels. The blood oozed 
from his wound, and he was stanching it witii the sheath of a pistol. Some 
persons around him handed to him from time to time bits of paper to wipe 
his face. In this state he remained several hours exposed to the curiosity 
and tlie abuse of a crowd of people. When the surgeon came to dress hus 
wound, he raised liimself up, got down from the table, and seated himself in 
an arm-chair. He underwent a painful dressing without a murmur. With 
the insensibility and suUenness of humbled pride, he made no reply to any 
observation. He was then conveyed, with St. Just, Couthon, and the others, 
to the Conciergerie. His brother and Henriot had been picked up, half dead, 
in the streets close to the Hotel de Ville. 

The outlawry rendered a trial superfluous ; it was suflScient to prove the 
identity. On the morning of the following day, the 10th of Thermidor, 
tlie culprits, to the number of twenty-one, were brought before the tribunal 
to which they had sent so many victims. Fouquier-Tinville produced evi- 
dence of identity, and, at four in the afternoon, he caused them to be con- 
veyed to execution. The populace which had long forsaken scenes of 
this kind, hastened with extreme eagerness to witness the execution on 
this day. 

The scaffold had been erected in the Place de la Revolution. An immense 
crowd filled the Rue St. Honor^, the Tuileries, and the spacious Place. 
Numerous relatives of the victims followed the carts, pouring forth impreca- 
tions upon tliem ; many went up to them desiring to see Robespierre : the 
gendarmes pointed him out to them with their swords. When Uie culprits 
had reached the scaffbld, the executioners showed Robespierre to the popu- 
lace ; they took off the bandage fastened round his jaw, and extorted from 
him the first cry that he had uttered. He suffered with the insensibility 
which he had displayed for the last twenty-four hours.* St. Just died with 
the courage which he had always exhibited. Couthon was dejected ; Hen- 
riot and the younger Robespierre were nearly dead from the effects of their 
wounds. Applause accompanied every descent of the fatal blade, and the 
multitude manifested extraordinary joy. General rejoicing prevailed through- 
out Paris. The prisons rang with songs ; people embraced one another in 
a species of intoxication, and paid as much as thirty francs for the news- 
papers containing an account of the events which had just happened. 
Though the Convention had not declared that it abolished the system of 
terror, though the victors themselves were either the authors or the aposdes 

* " When Robespierre a&cended the fatal car hU head was enveloped in a bloody cloth, 
his colour was livid, and bis eyes sunk. When the procession came opposite his house, it 
stopped, and a group of women danced round the bier of him whose chariot- wheels they 
would have dragged the day before over a thousand victims. Robespierre mounted thin 
scaffold last, and the moment his head fell the applause was tremendous. In some cases the 
event was announced to the prisoners by the waving of handkercbiefe from the tops of 
houses.*' — Haxlitt. E. 

" Robespierre was executed on the spot where Louis XVL and Marie Antoinette had 
suffered. He shut his eyes, but could not close his ears against the imprecations of the 
multitude. A woman, breaking from the crowd, exclaimed, 'Murderer of all my kindred ! 
your agony fills me with joy. Descend to hell, covered with the curses of every mother in 
France !' When he ascended the scaffold, the executioner tore the bandage from his face ; 
the lower jaw fell on his breast, and he uttered a yell which froze every heart with horror. 
For some minutes the frightful figure was held up to the multitude ; he was then placed 
under the axe. ' Ves, Robespierre, there is a God !' said a poor man, as he approached the 
lifeless body of one so lately the object of dread." — AlUoa. E. 
VOL. III. — 14 


of that system, it was considered as finished with Robespierre, to such a 
degree had he assumed to himself all its horrors.* 

Such was that happy catastrophe, which terminated the ascending march of 
the Revolution and commenced its retrograde march. The Revolution had, 
on the 14th of July, 1789, overthrown the ancient feudal constitution ; it had 
on the 5th and 6th of October snatched the King from his court to make sure 
of his person ; it had then framed a constitution for itself, and had committed 
it to his keeping in 1791, as if by way of experiment. It soon regretted having 
made this experiment, and despairing of ever conciliating the court with liberty, 
it had stormed the Tuileries on the 10th of August, and placed Louis XVI. in 
confinement. Austria and Prussia advanced to destroy it, when, to use its 
own terrible language, it threw down, as the gage of battle, the head of a 
king and the lives of six thousand prisoners ; it entered in an irrevocable 
manner into that struggle, and repulsed the allies by a first effort. Its rage 
redoubled the number of its enemies ; the increase of its enemies and of its 
danger redoubled its rage and changed it into fury. It dragged forth vio- 
lently from the temple of the laws sincere republicans, but who, not com- 
prehending these extremities, sought to moderate it. Then it had to com- 
bat one half of France, La Vendee, and Europe. By the effect of this 
continual action and reaction of obstacles upon its will, and of its will upon 
obstacles, it arrived at the last degree of danger and exasperation. It erected 
scaffolds and sent a million of men to the frontiers. Then, sublime and 
atrocious at the same time, it was seen destroying with a blind fury.t and 

• " On the very day of Robespierre's arrest, his adherent, Dumas, wh<5 was executed 
with him, had signed the warrant for putting sixty persons to death. In the confusion, no 
person thought of arresting the guiUotine. They all suffered." — Scolfg Life of Napo' 
lean. E. 

f Prudhomme has given the following appaUing account of the victims of the ReToluUon : 



Noble women .... 


Wives of labourers and artisans . 






Common persons, not noble 


Guillotined by sentence of the Revolutionary tribunal 



Women died of premature child-birth 



In child-birth from grief 



Women killed in La Vendee . 



Children killed in La Vend^ 

. , 


Men slain in La Vendee 

, , 


Victims under Carrier at Nantes. . 

, , 


^Children shot 


Children drowned 

. 1,500 

Women shot . . . . 


Of whom were •< 

Women drowned 

Priests shot 

. 500 

Priests drowned .... 

. 460 

Nobles drowned .... 


^Artisans drowned .... 

. 5,300 

Victims at Lyons .... 

• • 


Total . . 1,022,351 

In this enumeration are not comprehended the masacrcs at VersailloK, at tlie Abbaye, the 
Carmelites, or other prisons, on SoptemlK-r 2d, the victims of the Glaciere of .\vignon, 
those shot at Toulon and Marseilles, or the persons slain in the little town of Bodoin, the 
whole population of which perished. E. 


directing the national energies with promptness and profound prudence. 
Changed by the necessity for energetic action from a turbulent democracy 
to an absolute dictatorship, it became regular, silent, and formidable. During 
the whole latter part of 1793, till the beginning of 1794, it moved onward 
united by the imminence of the danger which surrounded it. But when victory 
had crowned its efforts, at the end of 1793, a disagreement arose ; for strong 
and generous hearts, calmed by success, cried, " Mercy to the vanquished !" 
But all hearts were not yet calmed ; the salvation of the Revolution was not 
evident to all ; the pity of some excited the fury of others, and there were 
extravagant spirits who wished to supersede aU government by a tribunal of 
death. The dictatorship struck down the two new parties which impeded 
its march. Hebert, Ronsin, and Vincent, perished with Danton and Camille- 
Desmoulins. The Revolution thus continued its career, covered itself with 
glory from the commencement of 1794, vanquished all Europe, and over- 
whelmed it with confusion. The moment had at length arrived when pity 
was to triumph over rage. But then happened what always happens in 
such cases ; out of the incident of a day the heajds of the government wanted 
to form a system. They had systematized violence and cruelty, and when 
tlie dangers and excitements were past, they still wished to continue the 
work of slaughter. But public horror was everywhere roused. To this 
opposition they would have replied by the accustomed expedient — death. 
One and the same cry then arose from their rivals in power and from their 
threatened colleagues, and this cry was the signal for a general insurrection. 
It required a few moments to shake off the stupor of fear ; the effort soon 
proved successful, and the system of terror was overthrown. 

It may be asked what would have happened if Robespierre had been vic- 
torious. The forsaken condition in which he found himself proves that this 
was impossible.* But had he been conqueror, he must either have yielded 
to the general sentiment, or have fallen. Like usurpers, he would have been 
forced to adopt a calm and mild system instead of the horrors of factions. 
But it was not given to him to be that usurper. Our Revolution was too 
vast for the same man, deputy to the Constituent Assembly in 1789, to be 
proclaimed emperor or protector ii\ 1804 in the church of Notre-Dame. 
In a country less advanced and less extensive as England was, where the 
same person might be tribune and general, and combine the two functions, 
a Cromwell might be both a party man at the beginning, and a usurping sol- 
dier at the conclusion. But in a revolution so extensive as ours, in which 
the war was so terrible and so predominant, in which the same individual 
could not occupy at one and the same time the tribune and the camp, party 
men first destroyed one another ;v after them came the military men; and a 
soldier was finally left master. 

Robespierre then could not perform among us the part of a usurper. Why 
was it his fate to survive all those famous revolutionists, who were so supe- 
rior to him in genius and in energy — Danton, for example ? Robespierre 

* " In my opinion Robespierre's destruction was inevitable. He had no organized force ; 
his partisans, although numerous, were not enlisted and incorporated ; be possessed only the 
great power derived from public opinion and the principle of terror ; so that, not beings able 
to surprise his enemies by violence like Cromwell, he endeavoured to frighten them. Fear 
not succeeding, he tried insurrection. But as the support of the committees gave courage to 
the Convention, so the sections, relying for support on the strength of the Convention, natu- 
rally declared themselves against the insurgents. By attacking the government Robespierre 
roused the Assembly, by rousing the Assembly he let loose the people: and this coalition 
necesmiiy mined bitn." — Mignet. £. 


was a man of integrity, and a good reputation is requisite for captivating the 
crowd. He was without pity, which ruins those who have it in revolutions. 
He had an obstinate and persevering pride, and this is the only means of 
keeping oneself constantly present to people's minds. It was this that caused 
him to survive all his rivals. But he was of the worst species of men. A 
devotee without passions, without the vices, to which they lead, but yet with- 
out the courage, the greatness, and the sensibility which usually accompany 
them — a devotee living only by his pride and his creed, hiding himself in the 
day of danger, coming forth to claim adoration after the victory won by others 
— is one of the most odious beings that ever ruled over men, and one would 
say the very vilest, if he had not possessed a strong conviction and acknow- 
ledged integrity.* 

* " Napoleon was of opinion that Robespierre had neither talent, force, nor system ; that 
he waa the true emissary of the Revolution, who was sacrificed the moment he attempted to 
arrest its course — the fate of all those who had before himself engaged in the attempt; but 
that he was by no means the monster that was commonly believed. • Robespierre,' said he, 
* was at last desirous to stop the public executions. Camhaceres, who is to be regarded as 
an authority for that epoch, said to me, in relation to the condemnation of Robespierre — Sire, 
that was a case in which judgment was pronounced without hearing the accused. — You may 
add to that, that his intentions were different from what is generally supposed. His plan was, 
after having overturned the furious factions which it was requisite for him to combat, to re- 
turn to a system of order and moderation.' " — L<ts Cases, E. 

" The dictator, Robespierre, perished just at the very moment when he was preparing to 
return to a system of justibe and humanity." — Levasseur de la Surthe. E. 

" Robespierre had been a studious youth and a respectable man, and his character contri- 
buted not a little to the ascendency which he obtained over his rivals. In the year 1785 he 
wrote an essay against the Punishment of Death, which gained the prize awarded by the royal 
society of Metz!" — Quarterly Review. E. 

M. Dumont in his " Recollections of Mirabeau" gives the following interesting account of 
the first public speech delivered by Robespierre in the year 1789 : " The clergy, for the pur- 
pose of surprising the tiers-etat into an union of the Orders, sent a deputation to invite the 
tiers to a conference on the distresses of the poor. The tiers saw through the design, and, 
not wishing to acknowledge the clergy as a separate body, yet afraid to reject so popular a 
proposition, knew not what answer to make, when one of the deputies rose, and thus ad- 
dressed the ecclesiastical deputation : ' Go, tell your colleagues, if they are so anxious to 
relieve the people, to hasten and unite themselves in this hall with the friends of the people. 
Tell them no longer to try to carry their point by such stratagems as this. Rather let them, 
as ministers of religion, renounce the splendour which surrounds them, sell their gaudy equi- 
pages, and convert their superfluities into food for the poor.' At this speech, which expressed 
so well the passions of the moment, there arose a loud murmur of approbation. Every one 
asked, who was the speaker ; he was not known ; but in a few minutes his name passed 
from mouth to mouth ; it was one wliich afterwards made all France tremble — it was Robes- 
pierre." — E. 

" When Robespierre first appeared in the world he prefixed the aristocratical particle de to 
his name. He was entered at college as de Robespierre ; he was elected to the States-general 
as de Robespierre ; but, after the abolition of all feudal distinctions, he rejected the de, and 
called himself Robespierre." — Qwxrterly Review. E. 





The events of the 9th and 10th of Thermidor had produced a joy which 
continued undiminished for several days. The excitement was universal. A 
great number of persons who had left the country to conceal themselves in 
Paris hurried to the public vehicles, to carry to their homes the tidings of 
the general deliverance. People stopped them in all- the places through 
which they passed, to learn the particulars. As soon as they were apprized 
of the happy events, some returned to their dwellings which they had long 
since quitted ; others, buried in subterraneous hiding-places, ventured forth 
again into the light of day. The inmates of the numerous prisons in 
France began to hope for liberty, or at least they ceased to dread the 

People did not yet investigate the nature of the Revolution which had just 
taken place ; they did not inquire how far the surviving members of the com- 
mittee of public welfare were disposed to persist in the revolutionary system, 
or how far the Convention was disposed to enter into their views : they saw, 
they comprehended only one thing — the death of Robespierre. It was he 
who had been the head of the government. It was he to whom were imputed 
the imprisonments, the executions, indeed all the acts of the late tyranny. 
It seemed that with Robespierre's death everything must be changed, and 
take a new direction.! 

• " One day, while I was standing with Madame d'Aiguillon at the prison window, I peN 
ceived a poor woman who knew us, and was making a number of signs, which at first I 
could not understand. She constantly held up her gown {rube), and, seeing that she had 
some object in view, I called out 'Robe,^ to which she answered, ' Yes.' She then lifted up 
a stone and put it in her lap, which she lifted up a second time. I then called out 'Pierre,' 
whereupon she evinced the greatest joy at perceiving that her signs were understood. Join- 
ing then the stone to her robe, she eagerly imitated the motion of cutting off the head, and 
immediately began to dance and evince the moat extraordinary joy. This singular panto- 
mime awakened in our minds a vague hope that possibly Robespierre might be no more. 
At this moment, while we were fluttering with hope and fear, we heard a great noise in 
the corridor, and the terrible voice of our gaoler, who said to his dog, giving him at the 
same time a kick, ' Get on, you cursed Robespierre.' That coarse phrase at once 
taught us that we had nothing to fear, and that France was saved." — Mernoirs of Jo- 
sephine. E. 

j" " Men looked hopelessly towards the Convention, rather like the corpse of a legislative 
assembly, actuated, during its apparent activity, like the supposed vampire, by an infernal 
spirit not its own, which urged it to go forth and drink blood, but which, deserted by the 
animating demon, must sink to the ground in helpless incapacity. But, in spite of thesB 
discouraging circumatancea, the feelings of humanity and a apirit of self-protection, dictating 



After any important event, the public expectation eagerly demands to be 
satisfied as to its results. After two days spent in receiving congratulations ; 
in listening to addresses, in each of which were repeated the words, Catiline 
is 710 more,* the Republic is saved ; in rewarding acts of courage; in voting 
monuments to perpetuate the memory of the great events of the 9th — the 
Convention at length directed its attention to the measures which its situation 

The popular commissions instituted for the tiial of prisoners, the revolu- 
tionary tribunal composed by Robespierre, the bar of Fouquier-Tinville, still 
retained their functions, and needed but a sign of encouragement to continue 
their terrible operations. In the very sitting of the 11th, the purification of 
the popular commissions was proposed and decreed. Elie Lacoste called 
the attention to the revolutionary tribunal, and proposed its suspension until 
it should be reorganized upon different principles, and composed of other 
persons. Lacoste's suggestion was adopted, and, in order not to delay the 
trial of Robespierre's accomplices, it was agreed to appoint, before the As- 
sembly broke up, a temporary commission to supersede the revolutionary 
tribunal. In the evening sitting, Barr^re, who continued to officiate as 
reporter, communicated another victory, the entrance of the French into 
Liege, and he then addressed the Assembly on the subject of the committees 
which had been mutilated on several difTerent occasions, and reduced by the 
scaffold or by missions to a small number of members. Robespierre, St. 
Just, and Couthon had expired on the preceding day. Herault-Sechelles 
had shared the fate of Danton. Jean-Bon-St.-Andre and Prieur of La Mame 
were absent on missions. There remained only Camot who was wholly 
occupied with the war department, Prieur of the C6te d'Or with the furnish- 
ing arms and ammunition, Robert Lindet with supplies of provision and com- 
merce, Billaud-Varennes, and CoUot-d'Herbois with the correspondence and 
the administrative bodies ; lastly, Barrere with the reports. Thus there 
were only six out of twelve. The committee of general welfare was more 
complete, and it was quite adequate to the business that it had to transact. 
Barrere proposed to appoint three members in the place of those three who 
had expired on the preceding day on the scaffold, until the general renewal 
of the committees, which was fixed for the 20th of every month, but which 
had been discontinued ever since the tacit consent given to the dictatorship. 
This was starting important questions. Were they to change not only men 
but things, to modify the form of the committees, to take precautions against 
their too great influence, to limit their powers — in short, to operate a com- 
plete revolution in the administration ? Such were the questions raised by 
Barrere's proposition. I,n the first place, fault was found with that hasty and 

a determined resistance to the renovation of the horrid system under which the country had 
so long suffered, began to show itself both within the Convention, and without doors." — 
Scott\i Life of Napoleon. E. 

* We find the following anecdote of this modern Catiline in the " Annual Register" of 
1794. It is of 80 atrocious a character that we can with difficulty bring ourselves to give 
credence to it : " A lady of the name of St. Amarante, thinking to secure the safety of her 
family by polite attentions to Robespierre, invited him to dine with her and some friends. 
Robespierre accepted the invitation, and was accompanied by one of his greatest intimates. 
Next day, his friend told him that he (Robespierre), having drui\k more freely than ordinary 
at dinner, had let drop some things which it would have been better to conceal. Having 
paused a little, Robes|)ierre required a list of the names of all who were of the company, and 
also of the servants who waited at table. A list was immediately sent to him. In four-and- 
twenty hours Madame St. Amarante, her family, friends, and domestics, all perished on the 
scaffold !" E. 


dictatorial mode of proceeding which consisted in proposing and appointing 
the members of the committees in the same sitting. A motion was made 
for tlie printing of the list and the adjournment of the nomination. Dubois- 
Crance went still farther, and inveighed against the prolonged absence of the 
members of the committees. If, he argued, they had appointed a successor 
to Ilerault-Sechelles, and had not suffered Prieur of La Mame and Jean- 
Bon-St.-Andre to be continually absent on missions, they would have been 
more certain of having a majority, and not have hesitated so long about 
attacking the triumvirs. He then asserted that men became wearied out by 
power, and contracted dangerous tastes from the possession of it. He pro- 
posed, in consequence, to decree that thenceforward no member of the 
committees should be authorized to go on^mission, and that one-fourth of 
the members of each committee should be renewed every month. Cambon, 
carrying the discussion still farther, said that the entire government ought to 
be reorganized. The committee of public welfare had, in his opinion, 
usurped everything; the consequence was that its members, were they even 
to labour night and day, could not perform their task, and that the commit- 
tees of finance, of legislation, and of general safety, were reduced to mere 
ciphers. It was necessary to make a new distribution of powers, so as to 
prevent the committee of public welfare from being overloaded, and the others 
from being annulled. 

The discussion being once commenced, a disposition was manifested to 
lay hands on all the departments of the revolutionary government. Bourdon 
of the Oise, whose opposition to Robespierre's system was well known, 
since he was to have been one of its first victims, checked this inconsiderate 
movement. He said that they had hitherto been an able and vigorous govern- 
ment ; that they were indebted to it for the salvation of France and for glo- 
rious victories ; that they ought to hesitate before they laid imprudent hands 
on its organization; that all the hopes of the aristocrats were likely to revive ; 
and that, while guarding against a new tyranny, they ought to modify, but 
with caution, an institution to which they owed such important results. 
Tallien, the hero of the 9th, was nevertheless desirous that certain questions 
at least should be taken up, and perceived no danger in deciding tliem imme- 
diately. "Wherefore, for instance, not decree at the moment that one-fourth 
of the committees should be renewed every month ? This proposition of 
Dubois-C ranee's, supported by Tallien, was received with enthusiasm, and 
adopted amidst shouts of The Republic forever ! To this measure Delmas 
was desirous of adding another. " You have just dried up the source of 
ambition," said he to the assembly: " to complete your decree, I propose 
that you decide that no member shall be eligible to serve in u committee, till 
he has been out of it a month." This proposition, which was received with 
the same favour as the other, was immediately adopted. These principles 
being admitted, it was agreed that a commission should present a new plan 
for the organization of the committees of government. 

On the following day, six members were chosen to fill the places of the 
dead or absent members of the committee of public welfare. On this occa- 
sion, the presentation made by Tallien was not confirmed. The Assembly 
nominated Tallien to reward him for his courage, Breard, Thuriot, Treil- 
hard, members of the first committee of public welfare, lastly, tlie two depu- 
ties Laloi and Echasseriaux senior, the latter of whom was well versed in 
matters of finance and political economy. The committee of general safety 
also underwent changes. Severe censures were throwr. out in all quarters 
against David, who was said to be a creature of Robespierre's, and against 



Jagot and Lavicomterie, who were accused of having been atrocious inqui* 
sitors. A great number of voices demanded their removal. It was decreed. 
Several of tfie champions who had distinguished themselves on the 9th were 
appointed to succeed to them, and, to complete the committee of general 
safety, Legendre, Merlin of Thionville, Goupilleau of Fontenai, Andre Du- 
mont,* Jean Debry, and Bernard of Saintes. The law of the 22d of Prairial 
was then unanimously repealed. Members inveighed with indignation 
against the decree which permitted a deputy to be imprisoned before he had 
been first heard by the Convention — a pernicious decree which had con- 
signed to death illustrious victims present to the recollection of all, Danton, 
Camille-Desmoulins, Herault-Sechelles, <kc. The decree was repealed. 
It was not sufficient to change things only : there were men whom the public 
resentment could not forgive. " All Paris," exclaimed Legendre, " demands 
of you the justly merited punishment of Fouquier-Tinville."t This sug- 
gestion was instantly followed, and Fouquier-Tinville was placed under accu- 
sation. "It is impossible to sit any longer beside Lebon," cried another 
voice ; and all eyes were fixed on the proconsul who had drenched tlie 
city of Arras with blood, and whose excesses had provoked complaints even 
in the time of Robespierre.^ Lebon was immediately decreed to be under 
arrest. The Assembly resumed the consideration of the case of David, 
whom it had at first merely excluded from the committee of general safety, 
and he too was put under arrest. The same measure was adopted in regard 
to Heron, the principal agent of the police instituted by Robespierre ; to 
General Rossignol, already well known ; and to Hermann, president of the 
revolutionary tribunal before Dumas, and who had become, through Robes- 
pierre's influence, the chief of the commission of the tribunals. 

Thus the revolutionary tribunal was suspended, the law of the 22d of 
Prairial was repealed, the committees of public welfare and general safety 
were in part recomposed, and the principal agents of the late dictatorship 
were arrested and prosecuted. The character of the late revolution was pro- 
nounced. Scope was given to hopes and to complaints of all kinds. The 
persons under confinement, who filled the prisons, and their families, fondly 
imagined that they were at length about to enjoy the results of the event of 
the 9th. Before that happy moment, the relatives of the suspected durst not 
remonstrate even for the purpose of urging the most legitimate reasons, either 
for fear of awakening the attention of Fouquier-Tinville, or from apprehen- 
sion of being imprisoned themselves for having solicited in behalf of aristo- 

* " Andr6 Dumont, deputy to the Convention, voted for the King's death without appeal. 
He persecuted the Girondins with the utmost severity. Being sent to the department of the 
Somme, he caused two hundred persons, sixty-four of whom were priests, to be ihrown into 
the river. In 1794 he declared vioienily against Robespierre, and was afterwards president 
of the Convention, and member of the committee of public safety. In the December of 
1794, he proposed that the punishment of death should no longer be inflicted, except on 
royalists. In the year 1796 he was elected to the council of Five Hundreil, and, after the 
18th of Brumaire, was appointed sub-prefect of Abbeville." — Biographic Moderne. E. 

■\ "At this so-drcaded name a general murmur burst from the .\ssembly. Freron, making 
himself the organ of the common indignation, exclaimed, ' I demand that the earth may be at 
length freed from this monster, and that Fou({uier, now drunk with the blood which be has 
■pilled, may be sent to hell, to sleep himself soi)er.' " — Mi^net. E. 

t " Lebon was accuse<l before the ('onvcntion by a deputation from Cambray. On his 
trial, the monster acknowliHlged that, an aristocrat being condemned to the guillotine, he had 
kept him lying in the usual posture on his back, with his eyes turned up to the axe, which 
was suspended above bis throat — in short, in all the agonies which can agitate the human 
mind — until he had read to him at length the Gazette, which had just arrived, giving an ac- 
count of a victory gained by the republican armies."— Sco//'» Ia/c of Napokon. E. 


crats. The Rei^ of Terror was past. People again met in the sections. 
Abandoned before to sans-culottes, who were paid forty sous per day, they 
were immediately filled by persons who had just made their appearance again 
in public, by relatives of the prisoners, by fathers, brothers, or sons, of vic- 
tims sacrificed by the revolutionary tribunal. A desire to deliver their 
kinsmen animated some, revenge actuated others. In all the sections, the 
liberation of the prisoners was demanded, and deputations repaired to the 
Convention to obtain it from that assembly. These demands were referred 
to the committee of general safety, which was directed to verify the applica- 
tion of the law relative to suspected persons. Though it still comprehended 
the greater number of the individuals who had signed the orders of arrest, 
yet the force of circumstances and the junction of new members could not 
fail to incline it to clemency. It began, in fact, with pronouncing a multi- 
tude of liberations. Some of its members, Legendre, Merlin, and others, 
went through the prisons, to receive petitions, and diffused joy there by their 
presence and their words ; others, sitting night and day, received the petitions 
of relatives who thronged to apply for releases. The committee was directed 
to inquire whether the persons called suspected had been imprisoned on the 
motives of the law of the 17th of September, and if those motives were spe- 
cified in the warrants of arrest. This was only returning to a more precise 
execution of the law of the 17th of September;* still it was sufficient to 
empty the prisons almost entirely. Such, in fact, had been the precipitation 
of the revolutionary agents that they had arrested without stating motives, 
and without demanding the communication of them to the prisoners. These 
were released, as they had been confined, that is, en masse. Joy, less tur- 
bulent, then became more real: it was diffused among families, which 
recovered a father, a brother, or a son, of whom they had long been deprived, 
and whom they had even regarded as doomed to the scaffold. Men whose 
lukewarmness or whose connexions had rendered them suspected by a jealous 
authority, and those for whose opposition even an attested patriotism could 
not obtain forgiveness, were seen coming forth from the prisons. That 
youthful general, who, uniting the two armies of the Moselle and the Rhine 
on one of the sides of the Vosges, had raised the blockade of Landau by a 
movement worthy of the greatest commanders — Hoche — imprisone<l for his 
resistance to the committee of public welfare, was liberated and restored to 
his family and to die army, which he was destined to lead again to victorj'. 
Kilmaine, who had saved the army of the North by breaking up from Csesar's 
Camp in August, 1793, who had been thrown into confinement for that ad- 
mirable retreat, was also set at liberty. That young and beautiful female, 
who had acquired such empire over Tallien, and who, from the recesses of 
her prison, had not ceased to stimulate his courage, was delivered by him, 
and became his wife. Though releases were multiplied every day, still ap- 
plications poured in upon the committee in undiminished numbers. " Vic- 
tory," said Barrere, " has just marked an epoch when the country can be 
indulgent without danger, and consider uncivic faults as atoned for by an 
imprisonment for some time. The committees are incessanUy engaged in 
deciding upon the releases demanded ; they are continually engaged in repair- 
ing individual errors or acts of injustice. Very soon all traces of private 
revenge will be effaced from the soil of the republic ; but the concourse of. 
persons of bo*.h •'exes about the doors of the committee of general safety only 

* " In the gpace of eight or ten days after the fall of Robespierre, out of ten thousand >ua> 
pected persons, not one remained in the prisons of Paris." — LacreteUe. £. 
VOL. III. — 15 K 2 


serves to retard labours so beneficial to the citizens. We make due allow 
ance for the very natural anxiety of families ; but why retard, by solicitations 
reflecting upon the legislators, and by too numerous assemblages, the rapid 
march wliich national justice ought to take at this period ?" 

The committee of general safety was, in fact, beset with solicitations of 
all kinds. The women, in particular, exerted their influence to obtain act* 
of clemency, even in behalf of known enemies of the revolution. More than 
one deception was practised upon the committee. The dukes of Aumont 
and Valentinois were liberated under fictitious names, and a great many 
others escaped by means of the same subterfuge. In this there was but litde 
harm ; for, as Barr^re had observed, victory had marked the epoch when 
the republic could become mild and indulgent. But the rumour which was 
circulated that the committee was setting at liberty a great number of aristo- 
crats was likely to revive revolutionary distrust, and to break the sort of 
unanimity with which measures of clemency and peace were welcomed. 

The sections were agitated, and became tumultuous. It was not possible, 
in fact, that the relatives of prisoners or of victims, that the suspected persons 
recently liberated, that all those, in short, to whom freedom of speech was 
restored, should limit their demands to the reparation of old severities, and 
that they should not demand vengeance also. Almost all were furious against 
the revolutionary committees, and complained loudly of them. They were 
for recomposing, nay, even for suppressing them, and these discussions pro- 
duced some disturbances in Paris. The section of Montreuil came to de- 
nounce the arbitrary acts of its revolutionary committee ; that of the French 
Pantheon declared that its committee had lost its confidence ; that of the 
Social Contract likewise took severe measures in regard to its committee, 
and appointed a commission to examine its registers. . 

This was only a natural reaction of the moderate class, long reduced to 
silence and to terror by the inquisitors of the revolutionary committees. 
These movements could not fail to strike the attention of the Mountam. 

That terrible Mountain had not perished with Robespierre. It had sur- 
vived him. Some of its members had remained convinced of the uprightness, 
of the integrity of Robespierre's intentions, and did not believe that he ever 
meant to usurp. They looked upon him as the victim of Danton's friends, 
and of the corrupt party whose remains he had not been able to destroy ; but 
it was a very small number who held this opinion. The great majority of 
the Mountaineers, stanch, enthusiastic republicans, regarding with horror 
every scheme of usurpation, had lent their assistance to the 9th of Thermidor, 
not so much with a view to overthrow a sanguinary system as to strike a 
nascent Cromwell. No doubt they looked upon revolutionary justice, such 
as Robespierre, St. Just, Couthon, Fouquier, and Dum;is had made it, as 
iniquitous ; but they had no intention to diminish in the least the energy of 
the government, or to give any quarter to what were called the aristocrats. 
They were mosdy known to be pure and rigid men, who had no hand in the 
dictatorship and its acts, and were in no way interested in supporting it ; but, 
at the same time, jealous revolutionists, who would not sufler the 9th of 
Thermidor*to be converted into a reaction, and turned to the advantage of a 
party. An;iong those of their colleagues who had united to overthrow the 
dictatorship, they saw with distrust men who had the character of rogues, of 
peculators, friends of Chabot's and Fabre-d'Eglantine's, members, in short, 
of the rapacious, stockjobbing, and corrupt party. They had seconded them 
against Robespierre, but they were ready to combat them, if they perceived 
in tlicm any tendency either to enervate the revolutionary energ}*, or to tuiu 


the' late events to the advantage of any faction whatever. Danton had been 
accused of corruption, of federalism, of Orleanisin, and of royalism. It i» 
not surprising that suspicions of the like nature should spring up against his 
victorious friends. No attack was yet made ; but the numerous releases, 
and tlie general excitement against the revolutionary system, began to awaken 

The real authors of the 9th of Thermidor, to the number of fifteen or 
twenty, the principal of whom were Legendre, Freron, Tallien, Merlin of 
Thionville, Barras, Thuriot, Bourdon of the Oise, Dubois-Crance, and 
Lecointre of Versailles, were not more favourably disposed than their col- 
leagues to royalism and counter-revolution ; but, excited by danger and by 
the struggle, they spoke out more decidedly against the revolutionary laws. 
They had, moreover, much of that tendency to leniency which had ruined 
their friends, Danton and Desmoulins. Surrounded, applauded, and solicited, 
they were hurried away more than their colleagues of the Mountain into the 
system of clemency. Many of them possibly sacrificed their own opinions 
to their new position. To render services to distressed families, to receive 
testimonies of the warmest gratitude, to efiace the remembrance of old severi- 
ties, was a part which could not fail to tempt them. Already those who 
distrusted their complaisance, as well as those who confided in it, gave them 
a particular application : they called them the Thermidorians. 

Warm discussions frequendy took place on the subject of the release of 
prisoners. On the recommendation of a deputy, who said that he knew one 
of them, an individual of his department, the committee ordered his libera- 
tion. Anotlier deputy of tlie same department immediately complained of 
this release, and declared that an aristocrat had been set at liberty. These 
disputes, and the appearance of a multitude of well-known enemies of the 
revolution, who boldly showed their joyous faces, provoked a measure which 
was adopted, but to which no great importance was at first attached. It was 
decided that a list of all the persons released by order of the committee of 
general safety should be printed, and that beside the name of each individual 
so released should be printed the names of the persons who had petitioned 
in his behalf and who answered for his principles. 

This measure produced a most unpleasant sensation. Suffering from the 
recent oppression which they had undergone, many of the citizens were 
afraid to see their names entered in a list which might be employed for the 
exercise of fresh severities, if the system of terror should ever be re-esta- 
blished. Many of those who had already solicited and obtained releases 
were sorry for it, and many others would not apply for more. Bitter com- 
plaints were made in the sections of this return to measures which disturbed 
the public joy and confidence, and their repeal was demanded. 

On the 26th of Thermidor the attention of the Assembly was occupied by 
the agitation prevailing in the sections of Paris. The section of Montreuil 
had come to denounce its revolutionary committee. It had been answered 
that it ought to address itself to the committee of general safety. Duhem, 
deputy of Lille, who had no hand in the acts of the late dictatorship, but was 
a friend of Billaud's, sharing all his opinions, and convinced that it was not 
expedient for the revolutionary authority to relax its severity, violendy in- 
veighed against the aristocracy and moderatism, which, he satv', already lifted 
their audacious heads, and imagined that the 9th of Thermidor had been 
brought about for their benefit. Baudot and Taillefer, who had shown a 
courageous opposition under the rule of Robespierre, but who were as 
stanch Mountaineers as Duhem, and Vadier, a distinguished member of 


the old committee of general safety, asserted also that the aristocracy was 
stirring, and that although the government ought certainly to be just, it ought 
at the same time to be inflexible. Granet, deputy of Marseilles, who sat 
with the Mountain, made a proposition which increased the agitation of the 
Assembly. He insisted that the prisoners already released, if the persons 
who answered for them did not come forward to give their names, should be 
immediately re-incarcerated. This proposition excited a great tumult. Bour- 
don, Lecointre, and Merlin of Thionville, opposed it with all their might. 
The discussion, as it almost always happens on such occasions, extended 
from the lists to the political state of the country, and the parties briskly 
attacked one another on account of the intentions already imputed by each 
to the other. " It is high time," exclaimed Merlin of Thionville, " that all 
the factions should renounce the use of the steps of Robespierre's throne. 
Nothing ought to be done by halves, and it must be confessed that, in the 
affair of the 9th of Thermidor, the Convention has done many things by 
halves. If it has left tyrants here, they ought at least to hold their tongues." 
General applause succeeded these words of Merlin's, addressed particularly 
to Vadier, one of those who had spoken against the movements of the sec- 
tions. Legendre spoke after Merlin. " The committee," said he, " is well 
aware that it has been tricked into the release of some aristocrats ; but their 
number is not great, and they will soon be imprisoned again. Why should 
we accuse one another, why look upon each other as enemies, when our 
intentions are the same ? Let us calm our passions, if we would insure and 
accelerate the success of the Revolution. Citizens, I demand of you the 
repeal of the law of the 23d, which orders the printing of the lists of the 
citizens who have been set at liberty. That law has dispelled the public joy 
and frozen all hearts." Tallien followed Legendre, and was listened to with 
the greatest attention, as the principal of the Thermidorians. " For some 
days past," said he, " all good citizens have seen with pain that attempts 
are making to divide you, and to revive those animosities which ought to be 
buried in the grave of Robespierre. On entering this place a note was put 
into my hands, which intimates that several members were to be attacked in 
this sitting. No doubt it is by the enemies of the republic that such rumoufs 
are circulated: let us beware of seconding them by our divisions." Plaudits 
interrupted Tallien ; he resumed : " Ye who would play the part of Robes- 
pierre," he exclaimed, "hope not for success: the Convention is determined 
to perish, rather than endure a new tyranny. The Convention wills an in- 
flexible but a just government. It is possible that some patriots have been 
mistaken respecting certain prisoners; we are no believers in the infallibility 
of men. But let the persons improperly released be denounced, and they 
shall be again incarcerated. For my own part, I can sincerely declare that 
1 had rather see twenty aristocrats released to-day, who may again be appre- 
hended to-morrow, than a single patriot left in confinement. What ! can the 
republic, with its twelve hundred thousand armed citizens, be afraid of a few 
aristocrats ! No; it is too great; it will find means to discover and to chas- 
tise its enemies !" 

Tallien, although frequently interrupted by applause in ilie course of his 
speech, was still more tumultuously cheered on concluding it. After these 
general explanations, the Assembly returned to the consideration of the law 
of the 23d, and to the new clause which Granet wished to add to it. The 
partisans of the law maintained that the people ought not to be afraid of 
showing themselves while performing a patriotic act, such as that of claiming 
the release of a citizen unjustly detained. Its adversaries replied that 



notliiog could be more dangerous than tlie lists ; tliat those of the twenty 
thousand and of the eight thousand had been the cause of continual disturb- 
ance ; that those whose names were inscribed in them had lived in dread ; 
and that, were there no longer any tyranny to fear, the persons included in 
the new lists would have no more rest. At length a compromise took place. 
Bourdon proposed to print the names of ihe prisoners released, without adil- 
ing tlie names of those who answered for them and solicited their liberation. 
This suggestion jvas favourably received, and it was decided tliat the names 
of the released persons only should be printed. Tallien, who was not 
pleased widi this middle course, immediately ascended the tribune. " Since 
you have decreed," said he, "to print the list of the citizens restored to 
liberty, you cannot refuse to publish that of the citizens at whose instigation 
they were imprisoned. It is but just diat the public should know those who 
denounced and caused good patriots to be incarcerated." The Assembly, 
taken by surprise, at first deemed Tallien's proposition just, and forthwith 
decreed it. Scarcely had it come to this decision, before severaltmembers 
. of tlie Assembly changed their opinion. " Here is a list," said one, " which 
will be opposed to the preceding: it is civil war.'''' This expression was 
soon repeated throughout the hall, and several voices exclaimed : // is civil 
war! — "Yes," rejoined Tallien, who had again mounted the tribune, "yes, 
it is civil war. I am of your opinion. Your two decrees will array against 
one anotlier two classes of men who never can forgive each other. But, 
in proposing the second decree, I wished to make you sensible of the in- 
conveniences of the first. Now I propose to you to repeal both." There 
was a cry from all quarters of " Yes, yes, the repeal of the two decrees !" 
Amar himself joined in it, and the two decrees were repealed. The print- 
ing of any list was therefore set aside, thanks to the clever and bold surprise 
which Tallien had practised upon the Assembly. 

This sitting restored a feeling of security to a great number of persons 
who began to lose it, but it proved that all excitement was not extinguished 
— tliat all struggles were not yet terminated. The parties had all been struck 
in their turn: the royalists on several occasions, the Girondins on the 31st 
of May, the Dantonists in Germinal ; the ultra-Mountaineers on the 9th of 
Thermidor. But, if the most illustrious leaders had perished, their parties 
survived, for parties are not cut off" at a single blow, and their remains bestir 
themselves long afterwards. These parties were again about to dispute by 
turns the direction of the Revolution, and to recommence an arduous and 
bloodstained career. It was, in fact, expedient that minds which had arrived 
through the excitement of the danger at the highest degree of exasperation, 
should return progressively to the point from which they had started. During 
this return, power was destined to pass from hand to hand, and the same con- 
flicts of passions, systems, and authority, were to take place. 

After having thus bestowed its first attention on tlie ameliorating of many 
severities, the Convention had to return to the organization of the committees 
and of the provisional government, which was, as we know, to rule France 
till the general peace. A first discussion had arisen, as we have just seen, 
concerning the committee of public welfare, and the question had been re- 
ferred to a commission charged to present a new plan. It was of urgent 
necessity- to attend to this matter; and the Assembly did so very early in 
Fructidor. It was placed between two opposite systems and rocks ; the fear 
of weakening the authority charged with the salvation of the Revolution, and 
the fear of reconstituting tyranny. It is usual among men to be afraid of dangers 
when they are past, and to take precautions against what cannot occur agaiw 


The tyranny of the late committee of public welfare had originated in the 
necessity for duly performing an extraordinary task, amidst obstacles of all 
kinds. A few men had stepped forward to do what an assembly could not 
— durst not — do itself; and, amidst the prodigious toils to which they had 
submitted for fifteen months, they had not been able either to explain the 
motives of their operations, or to render an account of them to the Assembly, 
unless in a very general manner. They had not even time to deliberate to- 
gether, but each performed, as absolute master, the duty that had devolved 
upon him. They had thus become so many compulsory dictators, whom 
circumstances, rather than ambition, had rendered all-powerful. Now that 
the task was almost finished, that the extreme dangers which they had had 
to encounter were past, such a power was no longer to be dreaded, because 
there was no further occasion for its existence. It was puerile to take such 
precautions against a danger which had become impossible ; nay, this pru- 
dence was even attended with a serious inconvenience, that of enervating 
authorityfend of robbing it of all its energy. Twelve hundred thousand 
men had been raised, fed, armed, and sent to the frontiers ; but it was neces- 
sary to provide for their maintenance, for their direction, and this was again 
a task that required great application, extraordinary capacity, and very ex- 
tensive powers. 

The principal of renewal at the rate of one-fourth every month had been 
already decreed ; and it had been moreover decided that tlie members going 
out could not obtain readmission before the expiration of a month. These 
two conditions, while they prevented a new dictatorship, prevented also any 
good administration. It was impossible that there could be any sequence, 
any constant application, any secrecy, in a ministry thus continually renewed. 
No sooner had a member gained an insight into business tlian he was forced 
to leave it ; and if a decided capacity was manifested, like that of Carnot for 
war,* of Prieur of the Cote-d'Or and Robert Lindet for administration, and 
of Cambon for the finances, it could not be secured for the state, and its 
services would be lost at the appointed term. An absence, even com- 
pulsory, of a month, rendered the advantages of the ulterior re-election abso- 
lutely null. 

But a reaction was not to be avoided. An extreme concentration of power 
was to be succeeded by a dissemination equally extreme and dangerous, but 
in a different way. The old committee, invested with the supreme power 
in regard to everything that concerned the welfare of the state, had a right to 
summon the other committees and to require an account of their operations ; 
it had thus taken into its own hands all that was essential in the duties of 
each of tliein. To pre^^nt in future such inconveniences, ihe new organiza- 
tion separated the functions of the committees, and rendered them independ- 
ent of one another. There were established sixteen : 

1. The Committee of public welfare; 

2. The Committee of general safety; 

* " For Carnot I fed great respect In some points he U the greatest man of this century. 
When he invents a new system of tactics to oppose the old armies of Europe, hastens to the 
army, teaches how to be victorious witli them, and returns to Paris, he appears great inde^. 
However I difTer from his political views, there is a republican greatness about him which 
commands respect Had I nothing in the wide world but a piece of bread left I should be 
proud of sharing it with Carnot Carnot invented new tActica; he had an innate capacity 
for war, and showed how to fight and conquer. While he was engaged in making giant 
plans for the five armies, he wrote a mathematical work of the highest character, and cont- 
})osed at the same time some very agreeable Utile poems. He was a mighty genius indeed." 
—Niebuhr. E. 


3. The Committee of finances ; 

4. The Committee of legislation; 

5. The Committee of public instruction; 

6. The Committee of agriculture and the arts ; 
7.^^Committee of commerce and provisions; 
8. ^H^CkQiumittce of public works; 

9. The Committee of conveyance by post; 

10. The Military Committee; 

11. The Committee of the navy and the colonies ; 

12. The Committee of public succour; 

13. The Committee of division; 

14. The Committee of minutes and archives ; 

15. The Committee of petitions, correspondence, and despatches ; 

16. The Committee of the inspectors of the National Palace. 

The Committee of public welfare was composed of twelve members ; it 
had still the direction of the military and diplomatic operations; it was 
charged with the levy and equipment of armies, Uie selection of generals, the 
plans of campaign, &c., but it was limited to these duties. The committee 
of general safety, composed of sixteen members, had the direction of the 
police ; that of the finances, composed of forty-eight members, had the super- 
intendence of the revenue, the exchequer, the mint, the assignats, &c. The 
committees were authorized to meet frequently, for the consideration of such 
matters as concerned them generally. Thus the absolute authority of the 
former committee of public welfare was divided among a number of rival au- 
thorities, liable to embarrass and to jostle one another in their progress. 

Such was the new organization of the government. There were other 
reforms which were deemed not less urgent. The revolutionary committees 
established in the smallest villages, and empowered to exercise inquisition 
there, were the most vexatious and the most abhorred of the creations attri- 
buted to Robespierre's party. To render their action less extensive and less 
annoying, their number was reduced to one for each district. There was, 
however, to be one in every commune of eight thousand souls, whether the 
chief town of a district or not. In Paris, the number was reduced from forty- 
eight to twelve. These committees were to be composed of twelve mem- 
bers ; it was required that three of these members, at least, should sign a 
summons to appear, and that seven should sign a warrant of arrest. Like 
the committees of government, they were to be renewed by one-fourth every 
month. To all these arrangements the Convention added others not less 
important, by deciding that the sections should in future meet but once in 
each decade, on the Decadi days, and that the citizens present should cease 
to be paid forty sous for each meeting. To render the popular assemblies 
less frequent, and above all to cease paying the lower classes for attending 
them, was confining the demagogue spirit within narrow limits. It was 
also cutting off an abuse which had been carried to excess in Paris. In 
each section, twelve hundred members were paid as present, though scarcely 
three hundred actually attended. The present answered for the absent, and 
they alternately rendered each other this service. Thus this operative sol- 
diery, so devoted to Robespierre, was dismissed, and sent back to its proper 

The most important measure adopted by the Convention was the purifica- 
tion of all the local authorities, revolutionary committees, municipalities, &c. 
It was into these bodies that, as we have observed, the most hot-headed revo- 
lutionists had insinuated themselves. They had become in each locality 


what Robespierre, St. Just, and Coulhon were in Paris, and they had exer- 
cised their powers with all the brutality of inferior authorities. The decree 
of the revolutionary government, in suspending the constitution till the p>eace, 
had prohibited elections of all kinds, in order to obviate disturbances and to 
concentrate authority in the same hands. The Convention, fro^^|M|lutely 
similar motives, namely, to prevent conflicts between the jM^flHbd the 
aristocrats, maintained the provisions of the d'"'- 'p ?>nf^'TOmri(Rted to the 
representatives on mission the task of purifyiii_ itutions throughout 

all France. This was the right way to secujw lu ii-mu ihe choice and the 
direction of the local authorities, and to picereht collisions of the two factions. 
Lastly, the revolutionary tribunal, recendy suspended, was again put in 
activity. The judges and juries were not yet all appointed: those which 
had already met were to enter upon their functions immediately, and to try 
agreeably to the laws existing before that of tlie 22d of Prairial. These 
laws were still very rigorous ; but the persons selected to administer them, 
and the docility with which extraordinary courts follow the direction of 
the government which institutes them, were a guarantee against fresh 

All these reforms were carried into effect between the 1st and the 15th of 
Fructidor. One more important institution still remained to be re-established, 
namely, the liberty of the press.* No law marked its boundaries ; it was 
even sanctioned in an unlimited manner in the declaration of rights ; but it 
had nevertheless been proscribed, in fact, under the system of terror. When 
a single imprudent word was sufficient to compromise the lives of citizens, 
how could they have dared to write ? The fate of the unfortunate Camille- 
Desmoulins had clearly proved the state of the press at that period. Durand- 
Maillane, an ex-constituent, and one of those timid spirits who had become 
mere ciphers during the stonns of the Convention, desired that the liberty 
of the press should be formally guaranteed anew. *" We have never been 
able," said that excellent man to his colleagues, " to express our sentiments 
in this place, without rendering ourselves liable to insults and threats. If 
you wish for our opinion in the discussions that shall in future arise, if 
you wish us to contribute by our intelligence to the general work, you 
must give new securities to those who may feel disposed either to speak or 
to write." 

Some days afterwards, Freron, who ha^il been the friend and colleague of 
Barras in his mission to Toulon, the associate of Danton and Camille-Des- 
moulins, and since their death the most vehement enemy of tlie committee 
of public welfare, joining his voice to that of Durand-Maillane, demanded 
the unshackled liberty of the press. Those who had lived in constraint 
during the late dictatorship, and who now wished to give their opinions on 
all sul)jects with freedom, those who felt disposed resolutely to promote a 
reaction against the Revolution, demanded a formal declaration guaranteeing 
the liberty of speech and writing. The Mountaineers, who anticipated the 
use that was intended to be made of this liberty, who saw a torrent of accu- 
sations preparing against all who had exercised any functions during the 
reign of terror, nay even many who, without entertaining any personal fear, 

• "The restrictions of the press were now remoTed, and men of talent and litcratara, 
silenced during the reign of Robespierre, were once more admitteti to exercLse their natural 
influence in favour of civil order and religion. Marmontel, Laharpe, and others, who in 
their youth had been enrolled in the list of Voltaire's disciples, and among the infidels of 
the Encycloptkiie, now made amends for their youthful errors, by exerting themselves ia 
the cause of good morals and of a regulated government." — Scott's Life of Napoleon. E. 


ajjpreciated the dangerous instrument that would thus be put into the hands 
of the counter-revolutionists, who were already swarming everywhere, 
opposed an express declaration. They assigned as a reason that the decla- 
ration of rights established the liberty of the press, that to sanction it anew 
was superfluous, since it was only proclaiming an already acknowledged 
right, and that, if any one proposed to render it unlimited, he committed an 
imprudence. "You would then," said Bourdon of the Oise, and Cambon, 
" permit royalism to lift its heed and to print whatever it pleases against the 
institution of the republic." All these propositions were referred to the 
competent committees, to examine if it were expedient to make a new 

Thus the provisional government destined to direct the Revolution till the 
peace, was entirely modified, agreeably to the new dispositions of clemency 
and generosity which manifested themselves since the 9th of Thermidor. 
Committees of government, the revolutionary tribunal, local administrations, 
were reorganized and purified ; tlie liberty of the press was declared, and 
every arrangement was made for a new career. 

The effects which these reforms could not fail to produce were soon felt.^ 
Hitherto, the party of the violent revolutionists had occupied a place in the 
government itself; it composed the committees and ruled the Convention; it 
predominated at the Jacobins ; it filled the municipal institutions and the revo- 
lutionary committees with which all France was covered: now, being dis- 
placed, it found itself out of the government, and was about to form a hostile 
party against it. 

The assembling of the Jacobins had been suspended on the night between 
the 9th and 10th of Thermidor. Legendre had locked up their hall, and 
laid the keys of it on the bureau of the Convention. The keys were re- 
turned, and the society was permitted to reassemble, on condition of purifying 
itself. Fifteen of the oldest members were chosen to investigate the conduct 
of all the others during the night between the 9th and 10th. They were to 
admit such only as on that memorable night had been at their posts as citi- 
zens, instead of repairing to the commune to conspire against the Conven- 
tion. During this scrutiny, the old members were admitted into tlie hall as 
provisional members. The investigation commenced. An inquiry concern- 
ing each of them would have been difiicult. It was deemed sufficient to 
question tliem, and they were judged by their answers. It is easy to con- 
ceive how indulgent such an examination must have been, since it was the 
Jacobins sitting in judgment on themselves. In a few days, more than six 
hundred members were reinstalled, on the mere declaration that during the 
memorable night they had been at the post assigned to them by their duties. 
The society was soon recomposed as it had been before, and cona^ehended 
all those who had been devoted to Robespierre, St, Just, and Couthon, and 
who regretted them as martyrs of liberty and victims of counter-revolution. 
Besides the parent society, there still existed that notorious electoral club, 
to which those retired who had proposals to make that could not be enter- 
tained at the Jacobins, and where all the great events of the revolution were 
planned. It still met at the Eveche, and was composed of old Cordeliers, 
the most determined Jacobins, and men most compromised during tlie sys- 
tem of terror. The Jacobins and this club might naturally be expected to 
become the asylum of thosfj placemen whom the new purification was about 
to drive from their posts. What was thus foreseen actually happened. The 
judges and juries of the revolutionary tribunal, the members of the forty- 
eight revolutionary committees of Paris, amounting to about four hundred, 

TOL. III. — 16 L 


the agents of the secret police of St. Just and Robespierre, the messengers 
of the committees who formed the band of the notorious Heron, the clerks 
of the different administrations, in short all who had held employments of 
any kind, and been removed from them, joined the Jacobins and the electoral 
club, as being already members of them, or obtaining admission for the first 
time. There they vented their complaints and their resentment. They were 
alarmed for their safety, and dreaded the vengeance of those whom they had 
persecuted. They regretted, moreover, the lucrative offices which they had 
lost, especially such of them as, being members of the revolutionary com- 
mittees, had opportunities of adding peculations of all kinds to their salaries. 
These could not fail to compose a violent and an obstinate party, to tlie 
natural impetuosity of whose opinions was now added the irritation of 
injured interest. The same thing that happened in Paris was occurring 
throughout all France. The members of the municipalities, of the revolu- 
tionary committees, of the directories of districts, met in the affiliated societies 
attached to the parent society, and deposited in their bosom their apprehen- 
sions and their animosities. They had on their side the populace, also 
divested of its functions, since it was no longer paid forty sous for attending 
the sectional assemblies. 

Out of hatred to this party, and for the purpose of opposing it, another 
was formed, or properly speaking, revived. It comprised all those who had 
suffered or kept silence during the rule of terror, and who thought that the 
moment had arrived for rousing themselves and for directing in their turn the 
march of the Revolution. We have seen that, in consequence of the libe- 
ration of suspected persons, the relatives of the detained persons or of the 
victims again made their appearance in the sections, and bestirred themselves, 
either to cause the prisons to be thrown open, or to denounce and punish 
the revolutionary committees. The new march of the Convention, those 
reforms already begun, increased the hopes and the courage of these first 
opponents. They belonged to all those classes that had suffered, whatever 
might be their rank, but particularly to commerce, to the burgeoisie, to that 
industrious, opulent, and moderate third estate, which, monarchical and con- 
stitutional with the Constituents, and republican with the Girondins, had 
been swept away since the 3l6t of May, and exposed to persecutions of all 
sorts. In its ranks were concealed the now very rare relics of the nobility 
which durst not yet complain of its abasement, but which complained of tlie 
rights of humanity violated as respected its order, and some partisans of 
royalty, creatures or agents of the old court, who had not ceased to raise 
obstacles to the Revolution, by engaging in all the nascent oppositions, 
whatever might be their system and character. It was, as usual, the young 
men of these different classes who spoke out with the greatest warmth and 
energy, for youth is always the first to rise against an oppressive rule.* A 

• " Those who composed this new and irregular militia belonged chiefly to the middle and 
wealthy classes of society, and adopted a singular costume. Instead of the short jacket of 
the Jacobins, they wore a square and open-breasted coat; their shoes were very low in the 
instep, and their hair hanging down on each side, was bound up behind in tresses; they 
were armed with short sticks leaded like bludgeons. A portion of these young people and 
of the sectionists, were royalists; the rest followed the impulse of the moment which was 
anti-revolutionary. The tatter acted without design and without ambition, and declared foi 
the strongest party, especially when that party, by its triumph, promised the return of order, 
the desire for which was very general. The former contended under the ThcrmiJoriatis 
against the old committees, as the Thcrraidorians had contended in the old committees 
against Robespierre; it waited for the moment to act on its own account, and an opporlu* 
nitj occurred afler the complete fall of the revolutionary party." — Mignct. E. 



multitude of them filled the sections, the Palais Royal, the public places, 
and expressed their opinion against the Terrorists, as they were called, in 
the most emphatic manner. They alleged the noblest motives. Some of 
them had seen their families persecuted, others were afraid lest they should 
some day see their own persecuted, if the Reign of Terror were re-esta- 
blished, and they swore to oppose it with all their might. But the secret 
of the opposition of many of them was the military requisition. Some had 
escaped it by concealing themselves ; others had left the armies on hearing 
of the 9th of Thermidor. These were reinforced by the writers, who were 
persecuted of late, and were always as prompt as the young to join in any 
opposition ; they already filled the newspapers and pamphlets with violent 
diatribes against the system of terror. 

The two parties spoke out in the warmest and most hostile manner, on 
the subject of the modifications introduced by the Convention into the re- 
volutionary system. The Jacobins and the clubbists raised an outcry 
against the aristocracy. They complained of the committee of general 
safety which rele;ised the counter-revolutionists,* and of the Press of which 
a cruel use was already made against those who had saved France. The 
measure which offended them most was the general purification of all the 
authorities. They could not precisely find fault with the renewal of the 
persons composing those authorities, for that would have been avowing mo- 
tives too personal, but they inveighed against the mode of re-election. They 
asserted that the people ought to be reinstated in the right of electing its 
magistrates, that to authorize the deputies on mission to nominate the mem- 
bers of the municipalities, of the districts, of the revolutionary committees, 
was a usurpation ; that to reduce the sections to one sitting per decade was 
a violation of the right of the citizens to assemble for the purpose of deli- 
berating on public affairs. These complaints were in contradiction to the 
principle of the revolutionary government, which forbade any elections till 
the peace ; but parties care not about contradictions when their interest is at 
stake ; the revolutionists knew that a popular election would have brought 
them back to their posts. 

The tradesmen in the sections, the young men at the Palais Royal and in 
the public places, and the writers in ihe newspapers, loudly demanded the 
unlimited freedom of the press, complained of still observing in the existing 
committees and in the administration too many agents of the late dictator- 
ship ; they ventured already to present petitions against the representatives 
who had fulfilled certain missions ; they depreciated all the services which 
had been rendered, and began to abuse the Convention itself. Tallien, who, 
in his quality of principal Thermidorian, considered himself as peculiarly 
responsible for the new direction given to affairs, wished their march to be 
vigorous and steady, without swerving to one side or to the other. In a 
speech full of subtle distinctions between the rule of terror and the revolu- 

* " The Jacobins raised great complaints against the liberation of the prisoners, whom 
they styled aristocrats and counter-revolutionists. The dreadful details of the massacres, 
however, which were transmitted to the Convention from all parts of France, bore down 
their opposition. Among the rest, one fact related by Merlin excited particular attention. 
It was an order signed hy a wretch named Lefevre, an adjutant-general, addressed to, and 
executed by a Captain Mace, to drown at Paimbceuf forty-one persons, of whom one was 
an old blind man ; twelve women of different ages ; twelve girls under twenty years ; fifteen 
children, and five still at the breast The order was expressed in these terms, and rigidly 
executed : ' It is ordered to Peter Mace, captain of the brig Destiny, to put ashore the wo- 
man Bidet ; and the remainder of the preceding list shall be taken off Pierre Noire, and 
thrown into the sea as rebels to the law.' " — Hittory of the Convention. E. 


tionary government, the drift of which was to assert that without employing 
systematic cruelty it was nevertheless necessary to retain sufficient energy — 
Tallien proposed to declare that the revolutionary government was maintain- 
ed, that conscquendy the primary assemblies ought not to be convoked for 
the purpose of new elections ; he also proposed that all the means of terror 
were proscribed, and that proceedings directed against such writers as had 
freely expressed their opinions should be considered as means of terror. 

These propositions which involved no precise measure, and which were 
merely a profession of faith of the Thermidorians, made with a view to place 
themselves between the two parties without favouring either, were referred 
to the three committees of public welfare, general safety, and legislation, to 
which everything that bore upon those questions was referred. 

These means, however, were not sufficient to calm the irritation of the 
parties. They continued to inveigh against one another with the same vio- 
lence ; and what especially contributed to increase the general uneasiness, 
and to multiply the subjects of complaint and accusation, was the financial 
situation of France, which was more deplorable perhaps than it had ever yet 
been at the most calamitous epochs of the Revolution. 

In spite of the victories of the republic, the assignats had experienced a 
rapid fall, and were not worth in commerce more than a sixth or an eighth of 
their nominal value ; which produced a frightful confusion in all kinds of 
business, and rendered the maximum more impracticable and more vexatious 
than ever. It was evidently no longer the want of confidence that depreciated 
the assignats, for no apprehensions could now be felt for the existence of the 
republic ; but it was their excessive issue, which kept regularly increasing in 
proportion to their fall. The taxes, collected with difficulty and paid in 
paper, furnished scarcely a fourth or a fifth of what the republic required 
monthly for the extraordinary expenses of the war, and the government was 
obliged to supply the deficiency by fresh issues. Thus, since the preceding 
year, the quantity of assignats in circulation, the reduction of which by vari- 
ous combinations to the extent of two thousand millions had been hoped, 
had risen to four thousand six hundred millions. 

With this excessive accumulation of paper money, and its consequent de- 
preciation, were combined all the calamities resulting either from the war, or 
from the unprecedented measures which had become necessary in conse- 
quence. The reader will recollect that, in order to establish a forced relation 
between the nominal value of the assignats and merchandise, the law of the 
maximum had been deviseds that this law fixed the prices of all commodi- 
ties, and did not allow the dealers to raise them in proportion to the depre- 
ciation of the paper ; he w;ill recollect that to these measures had been joined 
reqvisitions, which empowered the representatives of the agents of the 
administration to demand all the commodities necessary for the armies and 
for the great communes, and to pay for them in assignats at the rate fixed by 
the maximum. These rtieasures had saved France, but had introduced ex- 
traordinary confusion into business and the circulation. 

We have already seen what were the principal inconveniences resulting 
from the maximum — two markets, the one public, in which the dealers 
exposed only their worst goods and in the least possible quantity ; the other 
elandestine, in which they sold all their best commodities for money and at 
a free price ; a general hoarding of goods, which the farmers contrived to 
withdraw notwithstanding the utmost vigilance of the agents authorized to 
make requisitions ; lastly, derangement and stagnation in manufactures, 
because the makers were not indemnified by the price fixed upon their pro- 


(luctions for the mere cost of fabrication. All these inconveniences of a 
double commerce, of tlie hoarding of articles of subsistence, of the stagnation 
of manufactures, had kept constantly increasing. In every trade two sorts 
of traffic were established ; the one public and insufficient, the other secret 
and usurious. There were two qualities of bread, two qualities of meat, two 
qualities of everything ; one for the rich, who could pay in money or afford 
a higher price tlian the maximum; the other for the poor, the artisan, and 
the annuitant, who could only give the nominal value of the assignat. The 
farmers had become daily more and more ingenious in saving their commodi- 
ties. They made false declarations ; tliey did not thrash their corn, alleging 
the want of hands, a want that was really felt, for the war had absorbed more 
than fifteen hundred thousand men ;* they insisted on the shortness of the 
harvest, which had not turned out so favourable as it had been expected to 
prove in the early part of the year, when, at the festival of the Supreme 
Being, thanks had been offered up to Heaven, for the victories of the republic 
and the abundance of tlie crops. As for the manufacturers, they had entirely 
suspended their operations. We have seen that, in the preceding year, the 
law, to avoid being unjust to the shopkeepers, had been obliged to go back 
to tlie makers, and to fix the prices of goods on the spot where they were 
manufactured, adding to these prices the cost of carriage. But this law had 
in its turn become unjust. The raw material and workmanship having risen 
like everything else, the manufacturers could no longer find means to defray 
their expenses, and had suspended their business. The merchants had done 
.the same. The freight of India goods, for example, had risen from 150 to 
400 francs per ton; insurances from 5 and 6 per cent, to 50 and 60; of 
course, they could no longer sell commodities brought into the ports at the 
price fixed by the maxitnum, and they declined importing together. As we 
have had occasion to remark elsewhere, if one price was forced, all ought to 
have been forced, and that was impossible. 

Time had disclosed other inconveniences peculiar to the maximum. The 
price of corn had been fixed in a uniform manner throughout all France. 
But, the production of corn, being unequally costly and abundant in the dif- 
ferent provinces, the rate bore no proportion to the localities. The power 
left to the municipalities to fix the prices of all merchandise produced another 
kind of disorder. When commodities were scarce in one commune, the 
authorities raised tlieir prices ; goods were then brought thither to the pre- 
judice of the neighbouring communes, so that there was sometimes a glut in 
one place and dearth in another, at the pleasure of the regulator of the tariff; 
and the movements of commerce, instead of being regular and natural were 
capricious, unequal, and convulsive. 

The results of the requisitions were still more mischievous. Requisitions 
were resorted to for the purpose of subsisting the armies, of furnishing the 
great manufactories of arms and the arsenals with what they needed, of pro- 
visioning the great communes, and sometimes of supplying manufacturers 
with such materials as they were in want of. It was the representatives, the 
commissioners to the armies, the agents of the commission of commerce and 
provisions, who were empowered to make requisitions. In the pressing 
moment of danger, requisitions were made with precipitation and confusion. 

• " The republic maintained fourteen different armies. The troops paid were estimated at 
upwards of fifteen hundred thousand men ; but there wbs no regularity cither in tlio military 
or in any of the financial departments. The National Convention, in the midst of tlie revo- 
lutionary whirlwind, had no system of finance, and could not possibly have any." — Ramefs 
Higtury of the Finanut. 


It was frequently the case that persons received more than one requisition 
for the same objects, and knew not which to comply with. The requisitions 
were almost always unlimited. Semetimes the whole of a commodity in a 
commune or a department was laid under requisition. In this case, the 
farmers or tlie dealers could not sell to any but the agents of the republic. 
Commerce was interrupted, tlie article required lay for a long time without 
being taken away or paid for, and the circulation was stopped. In the con- 
fusion resulting from the emergency, the agents took no account of distances, 
and laid requisitions upon departments the most remote from the commune 
or the army which tliey meant to supply. In this manner, transports had 
been multiplied. Maiy rivers and canals were deprived of water by an 
extraordinary drought. Wheel carriages were the only means of conveyance 
left, and agriculture was robbed of its horses to draw them. This extraor- 
dinary employment, together with a forced levy of forty-five thousand horses 
for the army, had made them very scarce, and almost exhausted the means 
of transport. In consequence of these ill-calculated and frequendy useless 
movements, enormous quantities of articles of subsistence or other commodi- 
ties were accumulated in the public magazines, heaped together without care, 
and exposed to all sorts of peculation. The cattle obtained for the republic 
were badly fed ; they arrived in a lean state at the slaughter-houses, and 
hence arose a scarcity of fatty substances, suet, tallow, &c. To useless 
transports were therefore added waste, and frequently the most culpable 
abuses. Unfaithful agents secretly sold at the highest rates commodities 
which they had obtained at the maximum by means of requisitions. When 
it was not unfaithful agents who committed this fraud, it was dealers or manu- 
facturers, who had solicited an order of requisition for the purpose of supply- 
ing themselves, and who secretly sold at the current price what they had 
obtained at the maximum. 

These causes, added to the continental and maritime war, had reduced 
commerce to a deplorable state. There was no longer any cemraunication 
with the colonies, which were rendered nearly inaccessible by the English 
cruisers, and almost all of them ravaged by war. The principal, St. Do- 
mingo, was devastated with fire and blood by the different parties who dis- 
puted the possession of it. Besides this almost utter impossibility of exter- 
nal communications, another measure had contributed to interdict them 
entirely. This was the sequestration directed against the property of foreign- 
ers with whom France was at war. It will be recollected that the Conven- 
tion, in ordering this sequestration, had meant to stop the jobbing in foreign 
paper, and to prevent capital from abandoning the assignats, and being 
converted into bills of exchange on Frankfort, Amsterdam, London, and 
other places. In seizing the paper drawn by tlie Spaniards, the Ger- 
mans, the Dutch, and the English, upon France, the government of the lat- 
ter had provoked a similar measure, and all circulation of bills between 
France and Europe had ceased. It had no intercourse but with the neutral 
countries, tlie Levant, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, and the United 
States ; but these communications with neutral countries the commission of 
commerce and supplies had exclusively appropriated to itself, for the pur- 
pose of procuring corn, iron, and various articles necessary for the navy. 
To this end, it had put all the paper under requisition ; it gave the French 
bankers the amount in assignats, and made use of it in Switzerland, in 
Sweden, in Denmark, and in America, to pay for the corn and the other 
commodities which it purchased. 

The whole commerce of France was therefore reduced to the supplies 



which the government obtained in foreign countries by means of papei 
forcibly required from the French bankers. Scarcely any merchandise 
brought by free trade reached the French ports ; and, when it did, it was 
immediately laid under requisition, which, as we have just seen, utterly dis- 
couraged the merchants, who had paid at an enormous rate for freight and 
insurance, and were obliged to sell at the maximum. The only goods that 
were at all plentiful in the ports were those taken in prizes from the enemy. 
But some were withdrawn from circulation by requisitions, others by the 
prohibitions issued against the productions of hostile nations. Nantes and 
Bordeaux already ravaged by civil Avar, were reduced by this state of com- 
merce to absolute inactivity and to extreme distress. Marseilles, which 
formerly subsisted by its intercourse with the Levant, saw its port block- 
aded by the English, its principal merchants dispersed by the system of 
terror, its soap-manufacture destroyed or transferred to Italy ; so that all its 
trade now consisted in a few disadvantageous exchanges with the Genoese. 
The cities in tlie interior were in a no less deplorable state. The manufac- 
ture of Nimes had ceased to produce its silks, which it formerly exported to 
the amount of twenty millions. The opulent city of Lyons, demolished by 
bombs and mines now lay in ruins, and no longer furnished those rich 
stuffs with which it formerly supplied commerce to the amount of more 
than sixty millions. A decree, which stopped goods destined for the rebel 
communes, had detained around Lyons a quantity of merchandise, which 
was either to remain in that city, or only to pass through it on its way to the 
numerous points to which the southern road leads. The towns of Chalons, 
Ma^on, and Valence had availed themselves of this decree to stop the goods 
travelling along that much frequented road. The manufacture of Sedan had 
been obliged to give up the fabrication* of fine cloths, and to employ itself in 
making cloth for the troops ; and its principal manufacturers were moreover 
prosecuted as accomplices of the movement planned by Lafayette after the 
10th of August. The departments of the North, Pas-de-Calais, the Somme, 
and the Aisne, so rich by the cultivation of flax and hemp, had been entirely 
ravaged by the war. Towards the west, in the unfortunate La Vendue, 
more than six hundred square leagues had been wholly laid waste with fire 
and sword.* The lands were partly forsaken, and numbers of cattle roved 
about at random, without pasture, and without shelter. Lastly, wherever par- 
ticular disasters had not aggravated the general calamities, the war had 
exceedingly thinned the number of hands, while a considerable quantity of 
industrious citizens had been withdrawn from or disgusted with labour, some 
by terror, and others by political pursuits. To their workshops and their 
fields they greatly preferred the clubs, the municipal councils, the sections, 
where they received forty sous for making a stir and a commotion. 

Thus disorder in all the markets ;- scarcity of articles of subsistence; 
interruption in manufactures, owing to the maximum, injudicious removals, 
useless eccumulations, and waste of commodities ; exhaustion of the means 
of conveyance, owing to the requisitions ; interruption of communication 

• " It is my plan to carry off from that accursed country, La Vendee, all manner of 
subsistence or provisions for man or beast : all forage, — in a word, everything — give all the 
buildings to the flames, and exterminate the inhabitants. Oppose their being relieved by a 
eingle grain of com for their subsistence. I give you the most positive — the most imperious 
orders. You are answerable for the execution from this moment In a word, leave nothing 
in that proscribed country — let the means of subsistence, provisions, forage, everything — posi- 
tively everything, be removed to Nantes." — Extract from Carrier's Letter to General 
Haxo. Bi 


with all the neiglibouring nations, in consequence of the war, the maritime 
blockade, and the sequestration; devastation of manufacturing toMus and 
of several agricultural districts by civil war ; want of hands, occasioned by 
the requisition ; idleness owing to the liking contracted for political life- 
such is the picture presented by France, saved from the sword of foreigners, 
but exhausted for a moment by the unprecedented efforts that had been 
required of her.* 

Let the reader figure to himself two parties arrayed against each other 
after the 9th of Thermidor : one clinging to revolutionary means, as indis- 
pensable, and endeavouring* to prolong what could be but temporary ; the 
other irritated at the inevitable evils of an extraordinary organization, forget- 
ting the services rendered by that organization, and striving to abolish it as 
atrocious ; — let him figure to himself two parties of this nature arrayed 
against each other, and he will readily conceive how many subjects of 
reciprocal accusation they would find in the state of France. The Jacobins 
complained that all the laws were relaxed ; that the maximum was con- 
tinually violated by the farmers, the shopkeepers, and the rich merchants ; 
that the laws against stockjobbing were not enforced ; and that the depre- 
ciation of the assignats had resumed its course ; they theretore renewed the 
outcry of the Hebertists against the rich, the forestallers, and the stockjob- 
bers. Their adversaries, on the contrary, venturing for the first time to 
attack the revolutionary measures, inveighed against the excessive issue of 
assignats, against the injustice of the maximum, against the tyranny of the 
requisitions, against the disasters of Lyons, Sedan, Nantes, Bordeaux, and 
lastly, against the prohibitions and shackles of all kinds which paralyzed 
and ruined commerce. These were, together with the liberty of the press 
and the mode of nomination of the pilblic functionaries, the usual subjects 
of the petitions of the clubs or of the sections. All remonstrances of this 
nature were referred to the committees of public welfare, of finances, and 
of commerce, to report and present their ideas upon them. 

Two parties were thus opposed to each other, seeking and finding in what 
had been done, and in what was yet doing, continual subjects of attack and 
recrimination. All that had taken place, whether good or evil, was imputed 
to the members of the old committees, and they were the butt of all tlie attacks 
of the authors of the reaction. Though they had contributed to overthrow 
Robespierre, it was alleged that they had quarrelled with him only from 
ambition, and for the sake of a share in the tyranny, but that at bottom they 
held the same opinions, the same principles, and meant to continue the same 
system for their own advantage. Among the Thermidorians was Lecointre 
of Versailles, a man of violent and indiscreet spirit, who expressed himself 
with an imprudence that was disapproved by his colleagues. He had 
formed the design of denouncing Billaud-Varennes, CoUot-d'Hcrbois, and 
Barr^re, of the old committee of public welfare ; and David, Vadier, Amar, 
and Vouland, of the committee of general safety, as accomplices and con- 

• "It is impossible not to be struck with the novel and imposinfr spectacle which France 
exhibited during the sway of the Convention — of a country ruled by ephemeral govern- 
ments, each struggling to maintain itself by every art which fraud could suggest to vio- 
lence ; convulsed to the centre by profligate factions ; deluded with native blood ; with every 
atom of society out of its proper place ; in a state of absolute bankruptcy ; with no regular 
system of finance ; with a paper currency incalculable in amount, and at the last ebb of 
depreciation ; yet still maintaining, with unexampled success, a war which cost more blood 
and treasure than any ever known in modern times, and finally triumphing over all ber 
GontinentiU neighbours." — Edinburgh Review. £. 


tinucUors of Robespierre. He could not, and durst, prefer the same charge 
against Carnot, Prieur of the Cote-d'Or, and Robert Lindet, whom public 
opinion separated entirely from their colleagues, and who had the reputation 
of being exclusively occupied in labours to which France owed her salva- 
tion. Neither durst he attack all the members of the committee of general 
safety, because they were not all accused alike by the public opinion. He 
communicated his design to Tallien and Legendre, who dissuaded him from 
it. He nevertheless persisted in executing it, and, in the sitting of the 12th 
of Fructidor (August 29th), he presented twenty-six articles of accusation 
against the members of the former committees. The purport of these 
twenty-six articles was to accuse them of being accomplices in the system 
of terror with which Robespierre had oppressed the Convention and France; 
of having contributed to the arbitrary acts of the two committees ; of having 
signed the orders of proscription ; of having turned a deaf ear to all the remon- 
strances of citizens unjustly prosecuted ; of having greatly contributed to 
the death of Danton ; of having defended the law of the 22d of Prairial ; 
of having left the Convention in ignorance that this law was not the work 
of the committee ; of not having denounced Robespierre when he seceded 
from the committee of public welfare ; lastly, of not having done anything 
on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of Thermidor, to screen the Convention from the 
designs of the conspirators. 

As soon as Lecointre had finished reading these twenty-six articles, Gou- 
jon, deputy of the Ain, a young, sincere, fervent republican, and a disinte- 
rested Mountaineer, for he had taken no part in the acts for which the late 
government was reproached — rose and addressed the Assembly with all the 
appearance of profound grief. " I am deeply afflicted," said he, " when I 
see with what cold tranquillity men come hither to sow the seeds of dissen- 
sion, and to propose the ruin of the country. Sometimes you are solicited 
to brand, by the appellation of the system of terror, all that has been done 
for a year past ; at others it is proposed to you to accuse men who have 
rendered great services to the Revolution. They may be guilty for aught I 
know. I was with the armies, and therefore I am incapable of judging; but 
if- 1 had possessed documents criminating members of the Convention, I 
would not have produced them, or I should not have brought them forward 
here without deep pain. With what coolness, on the contrary, some can 
plunge the dagger into the bosom of men valuable to the country for their 
important services ! Observe, too, that the Convention itself is involved in 
the charges preferred against them. Yes, it is *the Convention that is ac- 
cused. It is the French people who are brought to trial, since both submit- 
ted to the tyranny of the infamous Robespierre. Jean Debry told you just 
now that it is the aristocrats who bring forward or suggest all these proposi- 
tions." — "And the robbers," added some voices. "I move," resumfcd 
Goujon, " that the discussion instantly cease." Many deputies opposed this 
motion. Billaud-Varennes hastened to the tribune, and urgently insisted 
that the discussion should be continued. " Most assuredly," said he, " if 
the facts alleged be proved, we are great culprits, and our heads ought to 
fall. But we defy Lecointre to prove them.* Since the fall of the tyrant 

* " ' If the crimes with which Lecointre reproaches us,' said Billaud-Varennw, ' were as 
real as ihey are absurd and chimerical, there is not one of us, doubtle*, here present, whose 
blood ought not to stain the scaffold. What do they want, those men who call us the suo- 
ressors of Robespierre 1 I will tell you, citizens. They want to sacrifice— I repeat it, (a 
sacrifice liberty on the tomb of the tyrant' " — Mignet. E. 

VOL. III. 17 



we are exposed to the attacks of all the intri^ers, and we declare that life 
is of no value to us, if tliey are to get the better." Billaud proceeded, and 
stated that they had long contemplated the 9th of Thermidor ; that, if they 
deferred it, they were obliged by circumstances to do so ; that they were the 
first to denounce Robespierre, and to tear from him the mask with which he 
covered himself; that, if the death of Danton was to be imputed to them 
as a crime, he would charge himself first and foremost with the guilt of it; 
that Danton was an accomplice of Robespierre's, the rallying-point of all the 
counter-revolutionists, and, if he had continued to live, liberty would have 
been \mdone. For some time past," exclaimed Billaud, " we have seen 
intriguers bestirring themselves, robbers . . . ." — " The word is uttered," 
cried Bourdon, interrupting him ; " it remains to be proved," — " I under- 
take to prove it for one," said Duhem. " We will prove it for others," added 
several voices of the Mountain. This was the charge which the Mountain- 
eers were always ready to prefer against the friends of Danton, who had 
almost all become Thermidorians. Billaud, who, amidst this tumult and these 
interruptions had not left the tribune, demanded the institution of proceed- 
ings, that the guilty might be known. Cambon succeeded him, and said 
that the Convention ought to avoid the snare laid for it ; that the aristocrats 
wished to force it to dishonour itself by dishonouring some of its members ; 
that if the committees were guilty, it was guilty too ; "And the whole nation 
along with it," added Bourdon of the Oise. Amidst this tumult, Vadier 
appeared in the tribune with a pistol in his hand, saying that he would not 
survive the calumny, if he were not allowed to justify himself. Several 
members surrounded him, and obliged him to descend. Thuriot, the presi- 
dent, declared that he would break up the sitting if the tumult were not 
appeased. Duhem and Amar wished the discussion to be continued, because 
it was due to the inculpated members. Thuriot, who had been one of the 
warmest Thermidorians, but who was a stanch Mountaineer, saw with con- 
cern that such questions were agitated. He addressed the Assembly from 
his chair. "On one hand," said he, " the public interest requires that such 
a discussion should finish immediately ; on the other, the interest of the 
inculpated persons requires that it should continue. Let us conciliate the 
two by passing to the order of the day on Lecointre's proposition, and de- 
claring that the Assembly has received it with profound indignation." The 
Assembly eagerly adopted the suggestion of Thuriot, and passed to the 
order of the day, at the same time marking Lecointre's proposition with 

All the men sincerely attached to their country had witnessed this discus- 
sion with the deepest concern. How, in fact, was it possible to revert to the 
past, to distinguish the evil from the good, and to discern to whom belonged 
the tyranny which they had undergone ? How ascertain the part of Robes- 
pierre and of the committees who had shared the supreme power, that of 
the Convention which had endured them, and, lastly, that of the nation, 
which had endured both the Convention, and the committees, and Robes- 
pierre ? How, besides, was that tyranny to be estimated ? Was it a crime 
of ambition, or the energetic and inconsiderate action of men bent on saving 
their cause at any price, and shutting their eyes to the means which they 
employed ? Ho^ distinguish, in this confused action, the share of cruelty, 
of ambition, of mistaken zeal, of sincere and energetic patriotism ? To 
enlighten so many obscurities, to judge so many human hearts, was impos- 
sible. It was necessary to forget the past, to receive France as she was, 
saved from the hands of those who had just been excluded from power, to 


regulate disorderly movements, to soften too cruel laws, and to consider thj^t 
in politics it behoves men to repair evils and never to revenge them. 

Such were the sentiments of discreet men. The enemies of the Revolu- 
tion exulted in the procedure of Lecointrc, and, when they saw the discus- 
sion closed, they reported that the Convention was afraid, and durst not 
grapple with questions too dangerous to itself. The Jacobins, on the con- 
trary, and the Mountaineers, still full of their fanaticism, being in no wise 
disposed to disavow the system of terror, did not shrink from the discussion, 
and were enraged at its being closed. The very next day, the 13th of Fruc- 
tidor, a great number of the Mountaineers rose, saying that the president 
had, on the preceding day, taken the Assembly by surprise when instigating 
it to close the discussion ; that he had expressed his sentiments without 
quitting the chair ; that, as president, he had no right to give an opinion ; 
that the closing of the discussion was an injustice ; that it was a duty owing 
to the inculpated members, to the Convention itself, and to the Revolution, 
to give full scope to a discussion which the patriots had no reason to dread. 
To no purpose did the Thermidorians, Ijegendre, Tallien, and others, who 
were accused of having prompted Lecointre, strive to prevent the discussion. 
The Assembly, which was not yet weaned from the habit of fearing and 
giving way to the Mountain, consented to rescind its decision of the pre- 
ceding day and to begin afresh. Lecointre was called to the tribune to read 
his twenty-six articles, and to support them by documents. 

Lecointre had not been able to collect documents in support of this singu- 
lar procedure, for it would have been necessary to procure evidence of what 
had passed in the committees, to judge how far the accused members had 
participated in what was called the tyranny of Robespierre. On each article 
Lecointre could only appeal to public notoriety, to speeches delivered at the 
Jacobins or in the Assembly, to the originals of some orders of arrest, which 
proved nothing. At every new charge the furious Mountaineers cried. The 
documents ! the documents .' and they were unwilling to let him speak with- 
out producing written proofs. Lecointre, in most cases unable to produce 
any, appealed to the recollection of the Assembly, asking if it had not always 
deemed Billaud, CoUot-d'Herbois, and Barrere, to have acted in unison with 
Robespierre. But this proof, the only possible one, showed the impossibility 
of such a trial. With such proofs it would have been demonstrated that the 
Convention was the accomplice of the committee, and France of the Con- 
vention. The Mountaineers would not suffer Lecointre to finish. " Thou 
art a calumniator," said they, and they obliged him to proceed to another 
charge. Scarcely had he read the next before they again cried. The docu- 
ments! the documents ! and, as Lecointre had none to produce, they shouted. 
To another.' In this manner he came to the twenty-sixth, without being 
able to prove what he advanced. He had but one reason to urge, namely, 
that the trial was a political one, and did not admit of the ordinary form of 
discussion ; to which it might fairly have been replied, that it was impolitic 
to enter upon such a trial. After a long and stormy sitting, the Convention 
declared his accusation false and calumnious, and thus justified the old com- 

This scene had given to the Mountain all its former energy, and to the 
Convention some of its former deference for the Mountain. Billaud- Varen- 
nes and Collot-d'Herbois, however, gave in their resignations as members 
of the committee of public welfare. Barrere went out by lot, Tallien, on 
his part, voluntarily resigned ; and the four were succeeded by Dulmas, 
Merlin of Douai, Cochon, and Fourcroy. Thus the only old members of the 


great committee of public welfare left, were Camot, Prieur of the C6te-d'0r, 
and Robert Lindet. One-fourth of the committee of general safety was also 
renewed. Elie Lacoste, Vouland, Vadier, and Moise Bayle, went out. 
David, Jagot, and Lavicomterie, had been previously excluded by a decision 
of the Assembly. These seven members were succeeded by Bourdon of the 
Oise, Colombelle, Meaulle, Clauzel,* Mathieu, Mon-Mayan, and Lesage- 

An unforeseen and purely accidental event increased the agitation which 
prevailed. The powder-mills of Crenelle took fire and blew up. This 
sudden and frightful explosion filled Paris with consternation, and it was 
believed to be the effect of a new conspiracy. The aristocrats were imme- 
diately accused, and the aristocrats accused the Jacobins. New attacks look 
place in the tribune between the two parties, without leading to any result. 
This event was followed by another. In the evening of the 23d of Fructi- 
dor (September 9th), Taliien was returning home, when a man, muffled up 
in a great-coat, rushed upon him, saying, " I was waiting for tliee — thou 
shalt not escape me !" At the same moment, being close to him, he fired a 
pistol, and wounded him in the shoulder. Next day, there was a fresh up- 
roar in Paris : it was said that people could no longer hope for quiet ; that 
two parties, inveterately hostile to each other, had sworn to annoy the repub- 
lic forever. Some attributed the attempt on the life of Taliien to the Jacobins, 
others to the aristocrats; while others again went so far as to say that Taliien, 
following tlie example of Grange-Neuve before the 10th of August, had got 
himself wounded in the shoulder that he might accuse the Jacobins of it, and 
have occasion to demand their dissolution. Legendre, Merlin of Thionville, 
and other friends of Tallien's rushed with vehemence to the tribune, and 
maintained that the crime of the preceding night was the work of the Jaco- 
bins. " Taliien," said they, " has not deserted the cause of the Revolution, 
and yet furious men allege that he has gone over to the moderates and to the 
aristocrats. Of course, it is not these who could liave any idea of assassi- 
nating him ; it can be none but the furious wretches who accuse him, that is 
to say the Jacobins." Merlin denounced their last sitting, and repeated this 
expression of Duhem's : " The toads of the Marais are raising their heads ; 
so much the better — they will be the easier to cut off." Merlin demanded, 
with his accustomed boldness, the dissolution of that celebrated society, which, 
he said, had rendered the greatest services, which had powerfully contributed 
to overturn the throne, but which, having no longer any throne to overturn, 
now wanted to overturn the Convention itself. Merlin's conclusions were 
not admitted, but, as usual, the facts were referred to the competent com- 
mittees for them to report upon. References of this kind had already been 
made upon all the questions which divided the two parties. Reports had 
been required on the question of the press, on the assignats, on the maximum, 
on the requisitions, on the obstructions of commerce, and, in short, on every- 
thing that had become a subject of controversy and of division. It was then 
desired that all these reports should be blended into one, and the committee 
of public welfare was directed to present a general report on the state of the 

* " Claozel, the younger, mayor of Velanet, was deputy to the National Convention where 
he voted for the King's death. In 1794 he became one of the committee of public safety, 
and laid various crimes to the charge of Billaud, Collot, and Barrore. In the same year he 
was appointed president, and argued against the suppression of all the revolutionary com- 
mittees. In 1796 he was elected secretary to the council of AncienU ; and afterwards 
declared warmly in favour of the Directory. He died in the year 1804." — Biographic 
Modemt. E. 


republic. The drawing up of this report was committed to Robert Lindet, 
the member best acquainted with the state of things, because he belonged to 
the old committees, and the most disinterested in those questions, because he 
had been exclusively engaged in serving his country by undertaking the 
laborious department of supplies and transport. The fourth sans-culoltide 
of the year II (September 20, 1794) was the day fixed for its being read. 

People waited with impatience for his report and the decrees which were 
to result from it, and kept themselves meanwhile in agitation. The young 
men coalesced against the Jacobins were accustomed to collect in the garden 
of the Palais-Royal. There they read the newspapers and pamphlets which 
appeared in great number against the late revolutionary system, which were 
sold by the booksellers in the galleries. They frequently formed groups 
there, and thence they started to disturb the sittings of the Jacobins. On the 
second sans-culottide, one of these groups had formed : It was composed of 
those young men who, to distinguish themselves from the Jacobins, dressed 
well, wore high cravats, and were on that account called Muscadins. In 
one of these groups a person said that, if anything happened, they ought to 
rally round the Convention, and that the Jacobins were intriguers and villains. 
A Jacobin would have replied. A quarrel ensued. One party shouted, 
The Convention forever ! Down vnth the Jacobins! Down with Robes- 
pierre's tail! Down with the aristocrats and the Muscadins! cried the 
other. The Convention and the Jacobins forever ! The tumult soon in- 
creased. The Jacobin who attempted to speak, and the small number of 
those who supported him, were severely handled : the guard hastened to the 
spot, dispersed the assemblage, which was already yery considerable, and 
prevented a general battle.* 

On the day after the next, being that fixed for the presentation of the re- 
port of the three committees of public welfare, legislation, and general safety, 
it was read by Robert Lindet. The picture which he had t6 draw of France 
was melancholy. Having traced the successive career of the factions and 
the progress of Robespierre's power till his fall, he exhibited two parties, the 
one composed of ardent patriots, apprehensive for the Revolution and for 
themselves ; and the other of disconsolate families, whose relatives had been 
sacrificed or still languished in prison. " Restless spirits," said Lindet, 
" imagine that the government is likely to be deficient in energy ; they em- 
ploy all possible means to propagate their opinion and their alarm. They 
send deputations and addresses to the Convention. These fears are chime- 
rical. In your hands the government will retain all its strength. Can the 
patriots, can the public functionaries, be afraid lest the services that they 
have rendered should be forgotten ? What courage must they not have pos- 
sessed, to accept and to perform dangerous duties I But now France recalls 
them to their labours and their professions, which they liave too long for- 
saken. They know that their functions were temporary ; that power re- 
tained too long by the same hands becomes a subject of uneasiness ; and they 
ought not to be afraid that France will abandon them to resentment and re- 

Then, proceeding to consider the situation of the party of those who had 

* " These quarrels became every day more animated, and Paris was transformed into a 
field of battle, on which the fate of parties was abandoned to the decision of arms. This 
state of disorder and of warfare could not lost long; and as those parties had not the discre- 
tion to come to an understanding, one of them nccefsarily obtained a victory over the 
other. The Thermidorians were making great progress daily, and victory belongeid to them." 
—Mignet. E. 



suffered, Lindet thus continued : " Set at liberty those whom animosities, 
passions, the mistakes of public functionaries, and the fury of the late con- 
spirators, have caused to be thrown en masse into the places of confine- 
ment: set at liberty the labourers, the mercantile men, the relatives of the 
young heroes who are defending the country. The arts have been perse- 
cuted ; yet it is by them that you have been taught to forge the thunderbolt ; 
it is by them that the art of the Montgolfiers* has served to discover the 
march of armies; it is by them that the metals are prepared and purified, 
that hides are tanned and rendered fit for use in a week. Protect them, 
succour them. Many useful men are still inmates of prisons." 

Robert Lindet then drew a sketch of the agricultural and commercial state 
of France. He exhibited the calamities resulting from the assignats, from 
the maximum, from the requisitions, from the interruption of the communi- 
cations with foreign countries.! " Labour," said he, " has lost much of its 
activity, in the first place, because fifteen hundred thousand men have been 
sent to the frontiers, while a multitude of others have devoted themselves to 
civil war ; and in the next, because the minds of men distracted by political 
passions, have been diverted from their habitual occupations. There are 
new lands brought into cultivation, but many also neglected. The corn is 
not thrashed, the wool is not spun, the cultivators of flax and hemp neither 
steep the one, nor peel the other. Let us endeavour to repair evils so nu- 
merous and so various. Let us restore peace to the great maritime and 
manufacturing cities. Put an end to the demolition of Lyons. With peace, 
prudence, and oblivion of what is past, the people of Nantes, of Bordeaux, 
of Marseilles, of Lyons, will resume their occupations. Let us repeal the 
laws destructive to cbmmerce ; let us restore circulation to merchandise ; 
let us permit exportation, that such commodities as we need may be brought 
to us. Let the cities, the departments, cease to complain of the government 
which they say has exhausted their resources in articles of subsistence, 
which has not observed very accurate proportions, but imposed the burden 
of requisitions in an unequal manner. O that those who thus complain 
could cast their eyes on the descriptions, the declarations, the addresses, of 
their fellow-citizens of other districts ! They would there see the same 
complaints, the same declarations, the same energy, inspired by the feeling 
of the same wants. Let us recall peace of mind and labour to the country : 
let us bring back the artisans to their workshops, the cultivators to their 
fields. But, abo've all, let us strive to bring back union and confidence 
among us. Let us cease to reproach one another with our calamities and our 
faults. Have we always been, could we always be, what we wished to be 

* "Jaquea Etienne Montgolfier, the inventor of the balloon, was born in 1745, and with 
his elder brother, who was born in 1740, and died in 1810, devoted himMlf to the study of 
mathematics, mechanics, physics, and chemistry. They carried on the manufactory of their 
father together, and were the first who invented vellun>-paper. The elder brother was the 
inventor of the water-ram which raises water to the height of six hundred feet Jaques died 
in the year \799."-^Enci/clopsedia Americana. E. 

j- "Since France had become republican, every species of evil had accumulated on its de- 
voted head. There were famine, a total cessation of commerce, justice interrupted, the com- 
munication with forci^^n countries cut off, property spoliated, confiscation rendered the order 
of the day. the scaffold permanently erected, and calumnious denunciations held in high 
repute. Nothing was wanting to the general desolation ; debauchery was encouraged, arbi- 
trary arrests were universally established, revolutionary armies spread over the country like 
a devouring flame, and disunion was brought into the bosom of domestic families. Never 
had a country descended so low; never had a people fallen into a similar state of chaos !"- 
History of the Converftiort. E. 


in reality ? We have all been launched into the same career : some have 
fought with courage — with judgment; others have dashed themselves, in 
iheir headlong ardour, against all the obstacles which they purposed to de- 
stroy and overthrow. Who would tliink of questioning us, and calling us 
to account for those movements which it is impossible to foresee and to di- 
rect ! The Revolution is accomplished. It is the work of all. What gene- 
rals, what soldiers, have never done more in war than what it was right for 
them to do, and have known how to stop where cool and calm reason would 
have desired them to stop ? Were we not in a state of war with numerous 
and most formidable enemies? Have not some reverses inflamed our cou- 
rage — roused our indignation ? What has happened to us is but what hap- 
pens to all men thrown to an infinite distance from the ordinary track of 

This report, so judicious, so impartial, and so complete, was received with 
applause. All approved of the sentiments which it contained, and it had 
been well if all had been capable of sharing them. Lindet then proposed a 
series of decrees, which were not less favourably received than his report, 
and immediately adopted. 

By the first decree, the committee of general safety and the representa- 
tives on mission were empowered to examine the petitions of traders, labour- 
ers, artists, fathers and mothers of citizens in the armies, who were them- 
selves, or had relatives, in prison. By a second, the municipalities and the 
committees of sections were required to assign the motives of their refusal, 
when they withheld certificates of civism. This was a satisfaction given to 
those who were incessantly complaining of the system of terror, and dread- 
ing lest they should see it revive. A third decree directed the drawing up 
of moral instructions, tending to encourage a love of industry and of the laws, 
and to enlighten the citizens relative to the principal events of the Revolu- 
tion, and destined to be read to the people on the decadary festivals. A 
fourth decree ordered the plan of a normal school for training young profes- 
sors with a view to the diffusion of education and knowledge throughout 

To these decrees were added several others, enjoining the committees of 
finances and of commerce to investigate without delay : 

1. The advantages of the free exportation of articles of luxury, on con- 
dition of importing into France a like value in merchandise of all kinds ; 

2. The advantages or disadvantages of the free exportation of the surplus 
commodities of the first necessity, upon the condition of a return and of va- 
rious formalities ; 

3. The most advantageous means of throwing into circulation the commo- 
dities destined for communes in rebellion, and detained under seal ; 

4. LasUy, the remonstrances of the merchants who, by virtue of the law 
of sequestration, were obliged to deposit in the district chests the sums 
which they owed to the foreigners with whom France was at war. 

We see that these decrees were intended to give satisfaction to those who 
complained of having been persecuted, and that they comprehended some of 
the measures capable of improving the State of commerce. The Jacobin 
party alone had not a decree to itself, but there was not any decree to pass 
for its benefit. It had not been either persecuted or imprisoned ; it had 
merely been deprived of power ; there was no reparation to grant to it. All 
that could be done, was to give it confidence in the intentions of the govern- 
ment, and it was for this special object that Lindet's report was framed and 


written. Accordingly, the effect of this report and of the decrees which ac 
companied it was most favourable upon all the parties. 

The public mind appeared to be somewhat calmed. On the following 
day, the last of the year, and the fifth sans-culottide of the year II (Septem- 
ber 21, 1794), the festival which had long been ordered for placing Marat 
in the Pantheon and excluding Mirabeau from it was celebrated. Already 
it was no longer in unison with the state of public opinion. Marat was no 
longer so holy, neither was Mirabeau so guilty, as that so many honours 
should be decreed to the sanguinary apostle of terror, and so much ignominy 
inflicted on the greatest orator of the Revolution ; but, in order not to alarm the 
Mountain, and to avoid the appearance of too speedy a reaction, the festival 
was not countermanded. On the appointed day, the remains of Marat were 
conveyed with pomp to the Pantheon, and those of Mirabeau were igno- 
miniously carried out at a side door. 

Thus power, withdrawn from the Jacobins and the Mountaineers, was 
now held by the partisans of Danton and of Camille-Desmoulins, in short, 
by the indulgents, who had become Thermidorians. These latter, how- 
ever, while they strove to repair the evils produced by the Revolution, while 
they released the suspected and endeavoured to restore some liberty and 
some security to commerce, still paid great respect to the Mountain which 
they had ousted, and decreed to Marat the place which they took from Mi- 



The activity of military operations was somewhat relaxed about the mid- 
dle of the summer. The two great Freftch armies of the North and of the 
Sambre and Meuse, which had entered Brussels in Thermidor (July), and 
then proceeded, the one upon Antwerp, the other towards the Meuse, had 
enjoyed a long rest, waiting for the reduction of the fortresses of Landre- 
cies, Le Quesnoi, Valenciennes, aud Conde, which had been lost during the 
preceding campaign. On the Rhine, General Michaud was engaged in re- 
composing his army, in order to repair the check of Kaiserslaulern, and 
awaited a reinforcement of fifteen thousand men drawn from La Vendee. 
The armies of the Alps and of Italy, having made themselves masters of 
the great chain, encamped on the heights of the Alps, while wailing for the 
approval of a plan of invasion proposed, it was said, by the young officer 



■ iblished bv I'aiev A Han 



who had decided the taking of Toulon and of the lines of Saorgio.* At 
the eastern Pyrenees, Dugommier, after his success at the Boulou, had stop- 
ped for a considerable time to reduce CoUioure, and was now blockading 
Bellegarde. The array of the western Pyrenees was still organizing itself 
This long inactivity, which marked the middle of the campaign, and which 
must be imputed to the important events in the interior and to bad combina- 
tions, might have been a drawback upon our successes, had the enemy known 
how to profit by the occasion. But such indecision prevailed among the 
allies that our fault was of no benefit to them, and only served to defer a 
little the extraordinary tide of our successes. 

Nothing was worse calculated than our inactivity in Belgium in the envi- 
rons of Antwerp, and on the banks of the Meuse. The surest means of 
accelerating the reduction of the four lost fortresses would have been to 
remove further and further from them the large armies which could have 
relieved them. By taking advantage of the disorder into which the victory 
of Fleurus and the retreat consequent upon it had thrown the allies, it would 
have been easy soon to reach the Rhine. Unfortunately, people were yet 
ignorant of the art of making the most of victory, the most important and 
the rarest of all arts, because it presupposes that victory is not the fruit of a 
successful attack, but the result of vast combinations. To hasten the sur- 
render of the four fortresses, the Convention had issued a formidable decree, 
in the same spirit as all those which followed one another from Prairial to 
Thermidor. Arguing that the allies occupied four French fortresses, and 
that everything is allowable to clear one's own territory of an enemy, it de- 
creed that, if the enemy's garrisons had not surrendered within twenty-four 
hours after they were summoned, they should be put to the sword. The 
garrison of Landrecies alone surrendered. The commandant of Conde re- 
turned this admirable answer, that one nation has not a right to decree the 
dishonour of another. Le Quesnoi and Valenciennes continued to hold 
out. The committee, sensible of the injustice of such a decree, resorted to 
a subtlety for the purpose of evading its execution, and at the same time of 
sparing the Convention the necessity to rescind it.t It assumed that the 
decree, not having been notified to the commandants of the three fortresses, 
was yet unknown to them. Before it was formally signified to them, the 
committee ordered General Scherer to push the works with sufficient activi- 
ty to give weight to the summons and to furnish the hostile garrisons with a 
legitimate excuse for capitulation. Valenciennes accordingly surrendered % 
on the 12th of Fructidor (August 29th) ; Conde and Le Quesnoi a few days 
afterwards. These fortresses, which had cost the allies so much during the 
preceding campaign, were thus recovered by us without any great efforts, 
and the enemy retained not a single point of our territory in the Netherlands. 

• " The councils of the republican leaders on the frontiers of Nice were directed by Ge- 
neral Bonaparte, whose extraordinary military abilities had already given him an ascendency 
far beyond his rank." — Alis<m. E. 

■(■ " The committee of public safety under Camot's direction, feeling the iniquity of this 
decree, took advantage of fictitious delays to allow the garrison to capitulate on the usual 
terms." — Alison. E. 

^ "The stores, provisions, and magazines of every species found in Valenciennes were 
immense, to say nothing of the military chest containing more than six millions of German 
florins in specie. All these amounted to a heavy loss to the Emperor of Austria, at a time 
when his revenues were insuflicicnt for his expenses, and the treasures he had accumulated 
were exhausted by this unpropitious war. A circumstance that rendered the surrender of 
Valenciennes to France still more vexatious was, that at least a thousand French emigrants 
fell into the hands of their enraged countrymen." — Ann tal Register. E. 

VOL. III. — 18 H 2 


On the other hand we were masters of all Belgium as far as Antwerp and 
the Meuse. 

Moreau had just taken Sluys and returned into line. Scherer had sent 
Osten's brigade to Pichegru, and rejoined Jourdan with his division. Owing 
to this junction, the army of the North, under Pichegru, amounted to more 
than seventy thousand men present under arms, and that of the Meuse, 
under Jourdan, to one hundred and sixteen thousand. The administration, 
exhausted by the efforts which it had made for the sudden equipment of 
these armies, was able to provide but very imperfectly for their supply, 
amends were made for the deficiency by requisitions, by foraging parties 
conducted with moderation, and by the highest military virtues. The sol- 
diers contrived to dispense with the most necessary articles. They no 
longer encamped under tents, but bivouacked beneath branches of trees. 
The officers, without appointments or paid with assignats, lived like the 
common soldier, ate the same bread, marched on foot like him, and with the 
knapsack at their back. Republican enthusiasm and victory supported these 
armies, the most discreet and the bravest that France ever had. 

The allies were in singular disorder. The Dutch, ill-supported by the 
English, were dismayed. They formed a cordon before their fortresses, 
that they might have time to put them in a state of defence — an operation 
which ought to have been long before finished. The Duke of York, as 
presumptuous as he was ignorant, knew not how to employ his English 
troops, and took no decisive part. He retired towards the Lower Meuse 
and the Rhine, extending his wings sometimes towards the Dutch, at others 
towards the Imperialists. By joining the Dutch, he might nevertheless 
have still had fifty thousand men at his disposal, and have attempted, on one 
or other of the armies of the North or of the Meuse, one of those bold 
movements which General Clairfayt, in the following year, and the Arch- 
duke Charles, in 1796, executed so seasonably and with such honour, and 
of which a great captain has since given so many memorable examples. 
The Austrians, intrenched along the Meuse, from the mouth of the Roer to 
that of the Ourthe, were disheartened by their reverses, and in want of ne- 
cessary supplies. The Prince of Coburg, whose reputation was ruined by 
his campaign, had given up his command to Clairfayt, of all the Austrian 
generals the most worthy to hold it. It was not yet too late to draw nearer 
to the Duke of York, and to act en masse against one of the two French 
armies ; but the Austrians thought of nothing but guarding the Meuse. The 
cabinet of London, alarmed at the course of events, had sent envoys after 
envoys to kindle the zeal of Prussia, to claim from her the execution of the 
treaty of the Hague, and to induce Austria by promises of succour to defend 
with vigour the line which her troops yet occupied. A meeting of English, 
Dutch, and Austrian ministers and generals took place at Maestricht, and it 
was agreed upon to defend the banks of the Meuse. 

At length, in the middle of Fructidor (very early in September), the French 
armies were again in motion. Pichegru advanced from Antwerp towards 
the mouth of the rivers. The Dutch committed the fault of separating them- 
selves from the English. To the number of twenty thousand men they 
ranged themselves along Bergen-op-Zoom, Breda, and Gertniydenberg, 
backing upon the sea and useless to the fortresses which they meant lo 
cover. The Duke of York, with his English and Hanoverians, retired upon 
Bois-le-Duc, connecting himself with the Dutch by a chain of posts, which 
the French army could take the moment it appeared. At Boxtel, on the 
bank of the Bommel, Pichegru overtook the rear-guard of the Duke of York, 


surrounded two battalions, and cut them off. Next day, on the banks of 
the Aa, he fell in with General Abercromby,* took some prisonere from him 
also, and continued to push the Duke of York, who hastened to cross the 
Meuse at Grave, under the guns of the place. In this march, Pichegru had 
taken fifteen Imndred prisoners : he arrived on the banks of the Meuse on the 
second sans-culottide (the 18th of September). 

Meanwhile Jourdan was advancing on his part, and preparing to cross the 
Meuse. The Meuse has two principal tributaries, the Ourthe, which falls 
into it near Liege, and the Roer, which joins it near Ruremonde. These 
streams form two lines, which divide the country between the Meuse aad 
the Rhine, and which must be successively carried in order to reach the 
latter river. The French, masters of Liege, had crossed the Meuse, and 
already ranged themselves facing the Ourthe ; they bordered the Meuse 
from Liege to Maestricht, and the Ourthe from Liege to Comblain-au-Pont 
thus forming an angle of which Liege was the apex. Clairfayt had ranged 
his left behind the Ourthe, on the heights of Sprimont. These heights are 
bordered on one side by the Ourthe, on the other by the Aywaille, which 
falls into the Ourthe. General Latour commanded the Austrians there. 
Jourdan ordered Scherer to attack the position of Sprimont on the side next 
to the Aywaille, while General Bonnet was to march upon it, after crossing 
the Ourthe. On the second sans-culottide (September 18), Scherer divided 
his corps into three columns, commanded by Generals Marceau, Mayer, and 
Ilacquin, and proceeded to the banks of the Aywaille, which flows in a deep 
bed between steep banks. The generals themselves set the example, plunged 
into the water, and led their soldiers to the opposite bank, in spite of a formi- 
dable fire of artillery. Latour had continued motionless on the heights of 
Sprimont, preparing to fall upon the French columns as soon as they should 
have crossed the river. But no sooner had they climbed the steep bank 
than they fell upon the position without giving Latour time to anticipate 
them. They attacked him briskly, while General Hacquin was advancing 
upon his left flank, and General Bonnet, having crossed the Ourthe, was 
marching upon his rear. Latour was then obliged to decamp and to fall 
back upon the imperial army. 

This attack, well-conceived and executed with spirit, was equally honour- 
able to the general-in-chief and to his army. It gained us thirty-six pieces 
of cannon and one hundred baggage-wagons ; it occasioned the enemy a loss 
of fifteen hundred men, killed and wounded, and decided Clairfayt to aban- 
don the line of the Ourthe. That general, on seeing his left beaten, was in 
fact apprehensive lest his retreat upon Cologne should be cut off. In conse- 
quence, he quitted the banks of the Meuse and the Ourthe, and fell back 
upon Aix-la-Chapelle. 

The Austrians had nothing left but the line of the Roer, to prevent their 
being driven back upon the Rhine. They occupied that river from Dueren 

* "Sir Ralph Abercromby, a distinguished British general officer, was born in 1738, in 
Clackmannanshire. His first commission was that of cornet in the dragoon-guards, in the 
year 1756, and he l)ecame a major-general in 1787. On the commencement of the revolu- 
tionary war with France, he was employed in Flanders and Holland, with the local rank of 
lieutenant-general. In 1795 he received the order of the Bath, and was appointed com- 
mander-in-chief of the forces in the West Indies. On his return he was made commander- 
in-chief in Ireland, but was soon afterwards appointed to the corresponding command in 
Scotland. He next acted under the Duke of York in the attempt upon Holland in 1799. 
Hifi concluding service was in the ex|)edition to Egypt, of which he was commander-in-chief. 
He landed, after a severe contest at Aboukir, in 1801, and fought tue triunipbaut battle of 
Alexandria, in which he was killed." — Encyelopstdia Americttna, 


and Juliers to the influx of the Roar into the Meuse, that is, to Rureraonde. 
They had relinquished all that part of the course of the Meuse which is 
comprised between the Ourthe and the Roer, between Liege and Ruremonde; 
they had left only that portion between Ruremonde and Grave, the point by 
which they were connected with the Duke of York. 

The Roer was the line which it behoved them to defend stoudy, if they 
would not lose the left bank of the Rhine. Clairfayt concentrated all his 
forces on the banks of the Roer, between Dueren, Juliers, and Liniiich. He 
had some time since ordered considerable works to secure his line ; he had 
advanced corps beyond the Roer, on the plateau of Aldenhoven, where 
intrenchments were thrown up ; he had then the line of the Roer and its 
steep banks, and he was placed behind this line with his array and a formi- 
dable train of artillery. 

On the 10th of Vendemiaire, year III (October 1, 1794), Jourdan was in 
presence of the enemy with all his forces. He ordered General Scherer, 
who commanded the right wing, to proceed upon Dueren, crossing the Roer 
at all the fordable points ; General Hatry to cross nearly in the centre of the 
position at Altorp ; Championnet's and Morlot's divisions, supported by 
cavalry, to take the plateau of Aldenhoven, situated in advance of the Roer, 
to scour the plain, to cross the river, and to mask Juliers, in order to prevent 
the Austrians from debouching from it ; General Lefebvre to make himself 
master of Linnich, and to cross at all the fords in that neighbourhood ; lastly, 
Kleber, who was near the mouth of the Roer, to ascend the river to Ratem, 
and to pass it at that ill-defended point, for the purpose of covering the battle 
on the side towards Ruremonde. 

Next day, the 11th of Vendemiaire, the French set themselves in motion 
along the whole line. One hundred thousand young republicans marched at 
once with an order and a precision worthy of older troops. They had not 
yet been seen in such number on the same field of batde. They advanced 
towards the Roer, the goal of their efforts. Unfortunately, they were sdU 
far from that goal, and it was not till near midday that they reached it. The 
general, in the opinion of military men, had committed but one fault, that 
of taking a point of departure too distant from the point of attack, and not 
employing another day in approaching nearer to the enemy's line. General 
Scherer, commanding the right, directed his brigades upon the different 
points of the Roer, and ordered General Hacquin to cross just above, at the 
fort of Winden, with a view to turn the left flank of die enemy. It was 
eleven o'clock when he made these arrangements. It took Hacquin a long 
time to make the circuit marked out for him. Scherer waited for him to 
reach the point indicated before he threw his divisions into the Roer ; and 
thus gave Clairfayt time to prepare all his means along the heights on the 
opposite bank. It was now three o'clock. Scherer would not wait any 
longer, and set his divisions in modon. Marceau plunged into the water, 
with his troops, and crossed at the ford of Mirveiller ; Lorges did the same, 
proceeded upon Dueren, and drove the enemy from that place after a san- 
guinary combat. The Austrians abandoned Dueren for a moment ; but, after 
falling back, they returned in more considerable force. Marceau immedi- 
ately threw himself into Dueren, to support Lorges's brigade. Mayer, who 
had crossed the Roer a litde above, at Niederau, and had been received by a 
galling fire of artillery, fell back also upon Dueren. There all the efforts 
of both sides were concentrated. The enemy, who as yet brought only his 
advanced guard into action, was formed in rear of that place, upon the 
heights, with sixty pieces of cannon. He immediately opened a fire, and 


poured a shower of grape and balls upon the French. Our young soldiers, 
supported by the generals, stood firm. Hacquin did not yet make his appear- 
ance on the left flank of the enemy, a manoeuvre which was expected to ensure 
a victory. 

At the same moment, there was fighting at the centre on the advanced 
plateau of Aldonhoven. The French had pushed on thither at the point of 
the bayonet. Their cavalry had deployed there, and received and withstood 
several charges. The Austrians, seeing the Roer crossed above and below 
Aldenhoven, had abandoned that plateau and retired to Juliers, on the other 
side of the Roer. Championnet, who had pursued them to the very glacis, 
cannonaded and was in return cannonaded by the artillery of the place. At 
Linnich, Lefebvre had repulsed the Austrians and reached the Roer, but had 
found the bridge burned and was engaged in rebuilding it. At Ratem, Kle- 
ber had met with sweeping batteries, and answered them by a brisk fire of 

The decisive action, therefore, was on the right about Dueren, where 
Marceau, Lorges, and Mayer were crowded together awaiting Hacquin's 
movements. Jourdan had ordered Hatry, instead of crossing at Altorp, to 
fall back upon Dueren: but the distance was too great for this column to be 
of any service at the decisive point. At length, at five in the evening, Hac- 
quin appeared on Latour's left flank. The Austrians, seeing themselves 
threatened on their left by Hacquin, and having Lorges, Marceau, and Mayer 
in front, decided upon retreating, and drew back their left wing, which had 
been engaged at Spriraont. On their extreme right, Kleber threatened them 
by a bold movement. The bridge, which he had attempted to throw across, 
being too short, the soldiers had demanded permission to plunge into the 
river. Kleber, to keep up their ardour, collected all his artillery, and played 
upon the enemy on the opposite bank. The imperialists were then obliged 
to retire at this point, and they determined to retire at all the others. They 
abandoned the Roer, leaving eight hundred prisoners and three thousand men 
hors de combat. 

Next day, the French found Juliers evacuated, and they were able to pass 
the Roer at all points. Such was the important battle that won us the defi- 
nitive conquest of the left bank of the Rhine.* It is one of those by which 
General Jourdan best merited the gratitude of his country and the esteem of 
military men. Critics have, nevertheless, censured him for not having taken 
a point of departure nearer to the point of attack, and for not directing the 
bulk of his force upon Mirveiller and Dueren. 

Clairfayt took the high road to Cologne. Jourdan pursued him, and took 

* '* In thifl important battle which was continued till the 3rd of October, the slaughter on 
both sides was dreadful and nearly equal. But superiority of numbers and perseverance gave 
the victory to the French. The principal difficulty they had to overcome was a mountain 
well fortified, and covered with batteries of heavy metal. It was assaulted four times by the 
most intrepid of the French troops before it was carried. On the morning of the fiflh day 
of this destructive conflict, a fog arose, which enabled General Clairfayt to conceal the motions 
which he was now under the necessity of making to mark his retreat. Upwards of ten 
thousand of his men had fallen; and the remainder of his army was unequal to any further 
contest. He was followed however so closely by the victors, that no less than three thousand 
more were added to the slaughter of the day. This was truly an important, a decisive battle. 
It was considered in that light by all parties; and all hopes of repairing for a long time the 
losses of the campaign were extinguished. It appeared even more decisive than the battle of 
Flcurus, which had commenced the ruin of the Austrian armies in the Low Countries, 
whence they were now totally expelled, without any prospect > of a return." — AnnuiU 
Register. E. 


possession of Colore on the 15th of Vendemiaire (October 6), and of Bonn, 
on the 29th (October 20). Kleber proceeded with Marescot to besiege 

While Jourdan was so valiantly performing his duty, and taking posses- 
sion of the important line of the Rhine, Pichegra on his part was preparing 
to cross the Meuse, intending then to proceed towards the mouth of the Wahl, 
the principal branch of the Rhine. As we have already stated, the Dake of 
York had crossed the Meuse at Grave, leaving Bois-le-Duc to his own forces. 
Pichegru, before he attempted the passage of the Meuse, would have to take 
Bois-le-Duc, which was no easy task, in the state of the season and with an 
insufficient artillery for a siege. However, the audacity of the French and 
the discouragement of the enemy rendered everything possible. FortCreve- 
ccBur, near the Meuse, threatened by a battery seasonably placed on a point 
where it was not thought possible to establish one, surrendered. The artil- 
lery found there served to forward the siege of Bois-le-Duc. Five consecu- 
tive attacks daunted the governor, who surrendered the place on the 19th of 
Vendemiaire. This unhoped-for success gave the French a solid base and 
considerable stores for pushing their operations beyond the Meuse and to the 
bank of the Wahl. 

Moreau, who formed the right, had since the victories of the Ourthe and 
the Roer advanced to Venloo. The Duke of York, alarmed at this move- 
ment, had withdrawn all his troops to the other side of the Wahl, and evacu- 
ated the whole space between the Meuse and the Wahl, on the Rhine. See- 
ing, however, that Grave on the Meuse would be left without communications 
and without support, he recrossed the Wahl, and undertook to defend the 
space comprised between the two rivers. The ground, as is always the case 
near the mouths of great rivers, was lower than the bed of the streams. It 
presented extensive pastures, intersected by canals and causeways, and inun- 
dated in certain places. General Hammerstein, placed intermediately be- 
tween the Meuse and the Wahl, had increased the difficulty of access, by 
covering the dykes with artillery, and throwing over the canals bridges which 
his army was to destroy as it retired. The Duke of York, whose advanced 
guard he formed, was placed in rear, on the banks of the Wahl, in the camp 
of Nimeguen. 

On the 27th and 28th of Vendemiaire (October 18 and 19), Pichegru made 
two of his divisions cross the Meuse by a bridge of boats. The English, 
who were under the cannon of Nimeguen, and Hammerstein's advanced 
guard along the canals and dykes, were too far off to prevent this passage. 
The rest of the army landed on the other bank, under the protection of these 
two divisions. On the 28th, Pichegru decided on attacking the works that 
covered the intermediate space between the Meuse and the Wahl. He pushed 
forward four columns, forming a mass superior to the enemy, into those 
pastures overflowed and intersected by canals. The French defied with ex- 
traordinary courage the fire of the artillery, ihen threw themselves into the 
ditches up to their shoulders in water, while the sharpshooters, from the 
margins of the ditches, fired over their heads. The enemy, daunted by their 
hardihood, retired, without thinking of anything but saving his artillery. He 
sought refuge in the camp of Nimeguen on the banks of the Wahl,* whither 
the French soon followed and defied him every day. 

• "The French novir resolved to strike a decisive blow against the Doke of York, and 
compel him to retire from the defence of the United Provinces. With this view, they crossed 
the Meuse with thirty thousand men, which were to attack the British posts on the right, 
while another body of no less strength was advancing to reach them on the left. On the 


Thus, towards Holland, as well as towards Luxemburg, the French had at 
length reached that formidable line of the Rhine, which nature seems-to have 
assigned as a boundary to their fine country, and which they have always 
felt ambitious to give it for a frontier. Pichegru, indeed, stopped by Nime- 
guen, was not yet master of the course of the Wahl; and. if he thought qf 
conquering Holland, he saw before him numerous streams, fortified places, 
inundations, and a most unpropitious season ; but he was very near the so 
ardently desired limit, and with another daring act he might enter Nimeguen 
or the isle of Bommel, and establish himself solidly upon the Wahl. Mo- 
reau, called the general of sieges, had by an act of boldness just entered 
Venloo ; Jourdan was strongly established on the Rhine. Along the Mo- 
selle and Alsace, the armies had also just reached that great river. 

Since the check of Kaiserslautern, the armies of the Moselle and of the 
Upper Rhine, commanded by Michaud, had been occupied in obtaining rein- 
forcements of detachments from the Alps and from La Vendee. On the 14th 
of Messidor (July 2), an attack had been attempted along the whole line from 
the Rhine to the Moselle, on the two slopes of the Vosges. This attack was 
not successful because it was too divided. A second attempt, planned on 
better principles, had been made on the 25th of Messidor (July 13). The 
principal effort had been directed on the centre of the Vosges, with a view 
to gain po8i>ession of the passes, and had caused, as it always did, a general 
retreat of the allied armies beyond Frankenthal. The committee had then 
ordered a diversion upon Treves, of which the French took possession, to 
punish the elector. By this movement, a principal corps was placed en 
fiicht between the Imperial armies of the Lower Rhine and the Prussian 
army of the Vosges ; but the enemy never thought of taking advantage of 
this situation. The Prussians, however, profiting at length by a diminution 
of our forces towards Kaiserslautern, had attacked us unawares and driven us 
back beyond the place. Luckily, Jourdan had just been victorious on the 
Soer, and Clairfayt had recrossed the Rhine at Cologne. The allies had not 
then the courage to remain in the Vosges ; they retired, leaving the whole 
Palatinate to us, and throwing a strong garrison into Mayence. Luxemburg 
and Mayence were consequently the only places that they retained on the 
left bank. The committee immediately ordered them to be blockaded. Kle- 
ber was called from Belgium to Mayence, to direct the siege of that place, 
which he had assisted to defend in 1793, and where he had laid the founda- 
tion of his glory. Thus our conquests were txtended on all points, and 
everywhere carried as far as the Rhine. 

At the Alps, the former inactivity continued, and the great chain was still 
ours. The plan of invasion, ably devised by General Bonaparte, and com- 
municated to the committee by the younger Robespierre, who was on a mis- 
sion to the army of Italy, had been adopted. It consisted in uniting the two 
armies of the Alps and of Italy in the valley of Sturia, for the purpose of 
overrunning Piedmont. Orders had been given for marching when news of 
the 9th of Thermidor arrived. The execution of the plan was then sus- 
pended. The commandants of the fortresses, who had been obliged to give 

morning of the 1 9th of October, the several divisions of the Duke's army on the right were 
assailed by the French, who forcing a post occupied by a body of cavalry, a corps of infantry 
which was stationed near it was thrown into disorder, and compelled to retreat along the 
dyke on the banks of the Wahl. Unfortunately, they were followed by a body of the ene- 
my's cavalry, which they mistook fur their own; nor did they discover their mistake till the 
enemy came up and attacked them before they could assume a posture of defence. The whole 
of that body of infantry waa either killed, or made prisoners." — Annual Register. E. 


up part of their garrisons, the representatives, the municipalities, and 
all thff partisans of reaction, alleged that this plan had for its object to 
ruin the army, by throwing it into Piedmont, to open Toulon again to the 
English, and to serve the secret designs of Robespierre. Jean-Bon-St.- 
j^ndre, who had.been sent to Toulon to superintend the repairs of the ships 
of war there, and who cherished schemes of his own relative to the Mediter- 
ranean, proved himself one of the greatest enemies to this plan. Young 
Bonaparte was even accused of being an accomplice of the Robespierres, on 
account of the confidence with which his talents and his projects had inspired 
the younger of the two brothers.* The army was brought back in disorder 
to the great chain, where it resumed its positions. The campaign finished, 
however, with a brilliant advantage. The Austrians, conjointly with the 
English, determined to make an attempt on Savona, for the purpose of cut- 
ting off the communication with Genoa, which, by its neutrality, rendered 
great service to the commerce in articles of subsistence. General Colloredo 
advanced with a corps of from eight to ten thousand men, made no great 
haste in his march, and gave the French time to prepare themselves. Being 
attacked amid the mountains by the French, whose movements were directed 
by General Bonaparte, he lost eight hundred men, and retreated disgrace- 
fully, accusing the English, who in their turn accused him. The communi- 
cation with Genoa was re-established, and the army consolidated in all its 

At the Pyrenees, a new series of successes opened upon us. Dugommier 
was still besieging Bellegarde, with the intention of making himself master 
of that place, before he descended into Catalonia. La Union made a general 
attack on the French line for the purpose of proceeding to the succour of the 
besieged ; but, being repulsed at ail points, he had withdrawn, and the for- 
tress, more discouraged than ever by this rout of the Spanish army, had sur- 
rendered on the 6th of Vendemiaire. Dugommier, having no danger whatever 
to dread on his rear, prepared to advance into Catalonia. At the western 
Pyrenees, the French, being roused at length from their torpor, overran the 
valley of Bastan, took Fontarabia and St. Sebastian, and, favoured by the 
climate, prepared, as at the eastern Pyrenees, to push their successes in spite 
of the approach of winter. 

In La Vendue the war had continued. It was not brisk and dangerous, 
but slow and devastating. Stofflet, Sapinaud, and Charette, had at length 
shared the command among them. Since the death of Laroche-Jacquelein, 
Stofflet had succeeded him in Anjou and Upper Poitou ; Sapinaud had still 
retained the little division of the centre ; Charette, who had distinguished 
himself by the campaign of the last winter, when, with forces almost de- 
stroyed, he had always contrived to elude the pursuit of the republicans, had 
the command in Lower Vendue ; but he aspired to the general command. 
The chiefs had met at Jallais, and had entered into a treaty dictated by the 
Abbe Bernier, cure of St. Laud, the councillor and friend of Stofflet, and 
governing the country in his name. This abbe was as ambitious as Charette, 
and desired to see a combination effected that should furnish him with the 

* " Bonaparte aet off for Genoa, and fuelled his misaion. The ninth of Thennidor 
arrived, and the deputies called Terrorists were superseded by Albittc and Salicelti. In the 
disorder which then prevailed, they were either ignorant of the orders given to General Bona- 
parte, or perHons, envious of the rising glory of the young general of artillrry, inspired Aibitla 
and Salicctti with suspicions prejudicial to him. They accordingly drew up a resolution 
ordering that he should be arrested, and be continued nearly a fortnight unider arrest" - 
Bouirientu. E. 



means of exercising over all the chiefs that influence which he possessed over 
Stofllet. They agreed to form a supreme council, by the orders of which 
everj'thing was to be done in future. Stofflet, Sapinaud, and Charette, reci- 
procally confirmed to each other their respective commands of Anjou, the 
centre, and Lower Vendee. M. de Marigny, who had survived the great 
Vendean expedition to Granville, having infringed one of the orders of this 
council, was seized. Stofflet had the cruelty to order him to be shot upon 
a report of Charette's.* This act, which was attributed to jealousy, produced 
a most unfavourable impression on all the royalists. 

The war, without any possible result, was now merely a war of devasta- 
tion. The republicans had formed fourteen intrenched camps, which enclosed 
the whole insurgent country. From these camps issued incendiary columns, 
which, under the chief command of General Turreau, executed the formida- 
ble decree of the Convention. They burned the woods, the hedges, tlie 
copses, frequendy the villages themselves, seized the crops and the catUe, 
and, acting upon the decree which ordered every inhabitant who had not 
taken part in the rebellion to retire to the distance of twenty leagues from 
the insurgent country, treated all whom they met with as enemies. The 
Vendeans, who, to procure the means of subsistence, had not ceased to cul- 
tivate their lands amidst these horrid scenes, resisted this kind of warfare in 
such a way as to render it everlasting. On a signal from their chiefs, they 
formed sudden assemblages, fell upon the rear of the camps and stormed them, 
or, allowing the columns to advance, thriy rushed upon them when they had 
got into the heart of the country, and, if they succeeded in breaking them, 
they put to death all, to the very last man. They then secured the arms and 
ammunition, which were in great request with them ; and without having 
done anything to weaken a very superior enemy, they had merely procured 
the means of prosecuting this atrocious warfare. 

Such was the state of things on the left bank of the Loire. On the right 
bank, in tliat part of Bretagne which is situated between the Loire and the 
Vilaine, a new assemblage had been formed, and composed in a great part 
of the remains of the Vendean column destroyed at Savenay, and of the 
peasants inhabiting those plains. M. de Scepeaux was its chief. This 
corps was nearly of the same force as M. de Sapinaud's and connected La 
Vendee with Bretagne. 

Bretagne had become the theatre of a war very different from that of La 
Vendee, but not less deplorable. The Chouans, to whom we have already 
adverted, were smugglers, whom the abolition of the barriers had left with- 
out occupation, young men who had refused to comply with the requisition, 
and some Vendeans, who, like the followers of M. de Scepeaux had escaped 
from the rout of Savenay. They followed the trade of plunder among the 
rocks and spacious woods of Bretagne, particularly in the great forest of 
Pertre. They did not form, like the Vendeans, numerous bodies capa- 

• " Charette and Stofflet, jealous' of the power of Marigny, convoked a council of war on 
some frivolous pretext, and condemned him to death for contumacy. His army felt the utmost 
resentment at this iniquitous sentence, and swore they would defend their general against all 
his enemies. For himself, he heard of his condemnation with composure. Soon after it waa 
decreed, Stofflet gave orders to some Germans to gftju id shoot Marigny. The wretches obeyed. 
The general had only his domestics with him ; flRpuld not believe that so infamous an act 
was intended. When he saw, however, that hiiVeath was resolved on, he asked for a con- 
fessor, wnich was rudely denied. On this, passing into his garden, he said to the soldiers, ' It 
is for me to command you. To your ranks, chasseurs !' He then called out ' Present — fire,* 
•nd fell dead." — Memoirs of the Marchionness de Larochejaequelein. E. 
VOL. III. — 19 N 



ble of keeping the field, but marched in bands of from thirty to fifty ; stopped 
couriers and the public conveyances ; and murdered the justices of peace, the 
mayors, the republican functionaries, and, above all, the purchasers of na- 
tional property. As for those who were not purchasers but farmers of such 
property, they called on them, and obliged them to pay the rent to them. 
In general, they were particularly careful to destroy bridges, to break up 
roads, and to cut off the shafts of carts, to prevent the carriage of articles of 
consumption to the towns. They addressed terrible threats to those who 
carried their produce to the markets, and they executed those threats by 
plundering and burning their property. As they could not occupy the coun- 
try like a regular military force, their object evidently was to distract it by 
preventing the citizens from accepting any office under the republic, by 
punishing the acquisition of national property, and by starving the towns. 
Less united, and less strong, than the Vendeans, they were nevertheless more 
formidable, and truly deserved the appellation of banditti. 

They had a secret chief, whom we have already mentioned, M . de Pui- 
saye, a member of the Constituent Assembly. He had retired after the 10th 
of August to Normandy, had engaged, as we have seen, in the federalist 
insurrection, and, after the defeat of Vernon, had fled to Bretagne, to conceal 
himself, and to collect there the remains of La Rouarie's conspiracy. With 
great intelligence, and extraordinary skill in uniting the elements of a party, 
he combined extreme activity of body and mind, and vast ambition. 
Puisaye, struck by the peninsular position of Bretagne, with the great-extent 
of its coast, with the peculiar configuration of its soil, covered with forests, 
mountains, and impenetrable retreats ; struck, above all, by the barbarism of 
its inhabitants, speaking a foreign language, deprived, consequently, of all 
communication with the other inhabitants of France, completely under the 
influence of the priests, and three or four times as numerous as the Ven- 
deans — Puisaye conceived that he should be able to excite in Bretagne an 
insurrection much more formidable than that which had for its chiefs a Ca- 
thelineau, a d'Elb^e, a Bonchamp, and a Lescnre, The vicinity, moreover, 
of England, and the convenient intermediate situation of the islands of 
Guernsey and Jersey, suggested to him the plan of inducing the cabinet of 
London to concur in his designs. It was not his wish, therefore, that the 
energy of the country should be wasted in useless pillage, and he laboured 
to organize it in such a manner as that he might be able to hold it entirely 
under his sway. Assisted by the priests, he had caused all the men capable 
of bearing arms to be enrolled in registers opened in the parishes. Each 
parish formed a company, each canton a division ; the united divisions 
formed four principal divisions, those of Morbihan, Finistere, C6tes-du- 
Nord, and Ille-et-Vilaine, all four dependent on a central committee, which 
represented the supreme authority of the country. Puisaye, as general-in- 
chief, was president of the central committee, and, by means of this ramifi- 
cation, he circulated his orders throughout the whole province. He recom- 
mended to his followers, until his vast projects should be ripe for execution, 
to commit as few hostilities as possible, that they might not draw too many 
troops into Bretagne, and to content themselves with collecting warlike 
stores, and preventing the carriafl|||of provisions to the towns. But the 
Chouans, by no means calculated ror the kind of general war which he medi- 
tated, addicted themselves individually to pillage, which was more prftitable 
to them, and more to their taste. Puisaye therefore hastened to put the 
finishing hand to his work, and purposed, as soon as he should have com- 



pleted the organization of his party, to go to London, in order to open a 
negotiation with the English cabinet and the French princes. 

As we have already seen, in the account of the preceding campaign, the 
Vendeans had not yet had any communication with foreigners. M. de Tin- 
t^niac had, indeed, been sent to them to inquire who they were, and what 
was their number and what was their object, and to offer them arms and 
assistance if they would make themselves masters of a seaport. It was this 
offer that had induced them to march to Granville, and to make that attempt, 
the failure of which we are acquainted with. The squadron of Lord Moira, 
after cruising to no purpose, had carried to Holland the succours destined 
for La Vendue. Puisaye hoped to provoke a similar expedition, and to con- 
clude an arrangement with the French princes, who had not yet expressed 
any gratitude or given any encourgement to, the insurgent royalists in the 

The princes, on their side, having little hopes of support from foreign 
powers, began to cast back their eyes on their partisans in the interior of 
France. But none of those about them were disposed to turn to account 
the devotedness of the brave men who were ready to sacrifice themselves 
for the cause of royalty. Some aged gendemen, some old friends, had fol- 
lowed Monsieur, who had become regent, and fixed his residence at Verona, 
since the country near the Rhine was no longer habitable except for military 
men. The Prince of Conde, a brave man, but of little capacity, continued 
to collect on the Upper Rhine all who were desirous of attaching themselves 
to the profession of arms. A number of young nobility followed the Count 
d'Artois in his travels, and had accompanied him to St. Petersburg. Cathe- 
rine had given the prince a magnificent reception ; ^e had presented him 
with a frigate, a million of money, a sword, and the brave Count de Vau- 
ban, to induce him to make good use of it.* She had, moreover, promised 
effective succours, as soon as the prince should have landed in La Vendee. 
This landing, however, was not attempted : the Count d'Artois had returned 
to Holland, where he was at the head-quarters of the Duke of York. 

The situation of the three French princes was neither brilliant nor pros- 
perous. Austria, Prussia, and England had refused to recognise the regent; 
for to recognise any other sovereign of France than the one who governed 
it de facto, was to intermeddle with domestic affairs, which none of the 
powers wished to appear to do. Now, in particular, when they were beaten, 
all of them affected to say that they had taken up arms merely for the sake 
of Uieir own security. To recognise the reg'int would have subjected them 
to another inconvenience. It would have been equivalent to pledging them- 
selves not to make peace till after the destruction of the republic, an event 
on which they began to give up reckoning. Meanwhile the powers toleratetl 
the agents of the princes, but did not acknowledge them under any public 
character. The Duke d'Harcourt in London, the Duke d'Havre at Madrid, 
the Duke de Polignac at Vienna, transmitted notes that were scarcely read 

* " Catherine behaved with marked cordiality to the emigrant French princes, and was one 
of the most strenuous opponents of the Revolution. The Jacobin emissaries, it seems, were 
making some progress among the lower orders of the people in St. Petersburg ; on which, 
says Sir John Carr, Catherine had them all seized one evening, and carried to the lunatic 
asylum, where they were properly shaved, blistered, starved, and physicked. After fourteen 
days of this wholesome regimen, they were restored to the public view, and universally 
ahanned as insane. Had this harmless cz[)eriment failed, she had another mode of treat- 
ment in store, and prepared for its adoption by quickly building a state-prison." — Edinburgh 
Review. E. 



and seldom listened to, and were rather the intermediate dispensers of the 
very scanty succours granted to the emigrants, than the organs of an avowed 
power. Hence great dissatisfaction with the foreign powers prevailed in the 
three courts where the emigrants resided. They began to discover that the 
generous zeal of the coalition for royalty had been merely a disguise of the 
most violent enmity to France. Austria, by hoisting her flag at Valencien- 
nes and Conde, had, in the opinion of the emigrants, provoked the outburst 
of French patriotism. Prussia, of whose pacific dispositions they were 
already aware, had, they said, failed in all her engagements. Pitt, who was 
the most positive and the most supercilious towards them, was also the most 
hateful to them. They called him by no other name than the treacherous 
Englishman, and said that they ought to take his money and cheat him after- 
wards, if they could. They pretended that Spain alone could be relied on ; 
she alone was a faithful kinswoman, a sincere ally, and towards her they 
ought to turn their hopes. 

The three petty fugitive courts, so far from harmonizing with the powers 
on whom they had placed their hopes, were not on better terms with one 
another. The Court of Verona, indisposed to take an active part, giving to 
the emigrants orders that were ill-obeyed, making communications to the 
cabinets that were little heeded, by agents who were not recognised, was 
filled with distrust of the two others, felt jealous of the active part performed 
by the Prince of Conde on the Rhine, and of the kind of consideration which 
his unenlightened but energetic courage gained him with the cabinets, and 
envied even the travels of the Count d'Artois in Europe.. The Prince of 
Conde, on his part, as brave as he was deficient in intelligence, would not 
engage in any plan, and cared but little about the two courts that would not 
fight. Lastly, the little court collected at Arnheim, shunning both the life 
that was led on the Rhine and the superior authority to which it was obliged 
to submit at Verona, tarried at the English head-quarters, under the pretext 
of various designs upon the coasts of France. 

Cruel experience having taught the French princes that they could not 
depend upon the enemies of their country for the re-establishment of their 
throne, they were fond of observing that they must thenceforward rely only 
on their partisans in the interior and on La Vendee. Since terror had ceased 
to reign in France, the violent agitators had unfortunately begun to breathe, 
as well as honest men. The correspondence of the emigrants with the in- 
terior was renewed. The court of Verona, through the medium of Count 
d'Entraigues, corresponded with one Lemaitre, an intriguer, who had been 
successively advocate, secretary to the council, pamphleteer, and prisoner in 
the Bastille, and who finished with the profession of agent of the princes. 
With him were associated a man named Laville-Heumois, formerly maitre 
des requites, and a creature of C<ilonne's, and an Abbe Brothier, pre- 
ceptor of the nephews of the Abbe Maurj'. Application was made to 
these intriguers for particulars concerning the situation of France, the 
state of parties, and their dispositions, and for plans of conspiracy. In 
reply, they transmitted intelligence most of which was false. They boasted 
of intercourse which they had not with the heads of the Government, and 
strove to the utmost of their power to persuade the French princes that every- 
thing was to be expected from a movement in the interior. They were 
directed to correspond with La Vendue, and especially with Charette,* who, 

• " During this horrible war, the royalist hero, Charette, acquired immortal glory The 
boldness of his measures, hi« fertility of resources, and his constancy, never subdued in die 
most desperate situations, mark him as a really great man. Wounded, pursued fhim place 


from his long resistance, was the hero of the royalists, but witli whom they 
had not yet been able to open any negotiation. 

Such was then the situation of the royalist party in and out of France. It 
waged in La Vendee a war less alarming for its dangers than afflicting for its 
ravages. It formed in Bretagne extensive but yet distant projects, subject 
moreover to a very difficult condition — the union and the concert of a multi- 
tude of persons. Out of France it was divided, held in little consideration, 
and scantily supported. Convinced at length, of the futility of all hope of 
foreign succour, it kept up a puerile correspondence with the royalists of the 

The republic had therefore Hide to fear from the efforts of Europe and of 
royalty. Setting aside the subject of pain which it found in the ravages of 
La Vendee, it had cause to congratulate itself on its splendid triumphs. It 
had been saved in the preceding year from invasion, this year it had revenged 
itself by its conquests. Belgium, Dutch Brabant, the countries of Luxem- 
burg, Liege, and Juliers, the electorate of Treves, the Palatinate, Savoy, 
Nice, a fortress in Catalonia, and Uie valley of Bastan, had been won, thus 
threatening Holland, Piedmont, and Spain at the same time. Such were 
the results of the prodigious efforts of the celebrated committee of public 



While these events were occurring on the frontiers, the Convention con- 
tinued its reforms. The representatives commissioned to renew the admi- 
nistrations travelled through France, everywhere reducing the number of the 
revolutionary committees, composing them of other individuals, causing 
those to be apprehended as accomplices of Robespierre whose too atrocious 
excesses did not permit them to be left unpunished, appointing fresh muni- 
cipal functionaries, reorganizing the popular societies, and purging them of 
the most violent and the most dangerous men. This operation was not 
always "executed without impediment. At Dijon, the revolutionary organiza- 
tion was found more compact tlian anywhere else. The same persons, 
members at one and the same time of the revolutionary committee, of the 
municipality, and of the popular society, made all in that city tremble. They 
imprisoned arbitrarily both travellers and inhabitants, entered in the list of 

to place, with scarcely twelve companions left, this famous royalist chief was still such an 
object of dread to the republicans, as to induce them to offer him a million of livrcs and a free 
passage to England ; but he refused, choosing to persevere in the unequal struggle, till he 
WM taken and put to death." — Mtnioirt of the. Marchioneu de Larochejaquelcin, E. 



emigrants all whom they were pleased to place there, and prevented them 
from obtaining certificates of residence by intimidating the sections. They 
•had formed themselves into regiments under the title of a revolutionary army, 
and obliged the commune to allow them pay. They did nothing, attended 
the meetings of the club, themselves and their wives, and spent in orgies, 
where it was not allowed to drink out of anything but goblets, the double 
produce of their appointments and their rapine. They corresponded with 
the Jacobins of Lyons and Marseilles, and served them as a medium for com- 
municating with those of Paris. Cd^s, tlie representative, had the greatest 
difficulty in dissolving this coalition. He dismissed all the revolutionary 
authorities, selected twenty or thirty of the most moderate members of the 
club, and committed to them the task of its purification. 

When driven from the municipalities, the revolutionists did as in Park, 
and usually retired to the Jacobin club. If the club had been purified, they 
forced themselves into it again after the departure of the representatives, or 
formed another. There they made more violent speeches than ever, and 
gave way to all the frenzy of rage and fear, for they beheld vengeance every- 
where. The Jacobins of Dijon sent an inflammatory address to those of 
Paris. At Lyons, they formed a no less dangerous body ; and, as the city 
was still under the weight of the terrible decrees of the Convention, the re- 
presentatives found it very difficult to repress their fury. At Marseilles they 
were more audacious. . Adding the excitement of their party to the warmth 
of local character, they formed a considerable assemblage, beset a room 
where the two representatives, Auguies and Serres, were at table, and sent 
deputies to them who, sword and pistol in hand, demanded the release of the 
imprisoned patriots. Tlie two representatives displayed the greatest firm- 
ness, but, being ill-supported by the gendarmerie, who had invariably 
seconded the cruelties of the late system, till at length they began to think 
themselves accomplices of and responsible for it, they narro>Vly escaped 
being murdered. However, several Parisian battalions, which were at that 
moment at Marseilles, came to the relief of the two representatives, disen- 
gaged them from the mob, and dispersed the assemblage. At Toulouse, also, 
the Jacobins excited commotions. In that city four persons, a director of the 
posts, a district secretary, and two actors, had set themselves up for chiefs 
of the revolutionary party. They had formed a committee of surveillance 
for the whole of the South, and extended their tyranny far beyond Toulouse. 
They opposed the reforms and the imprisonments ordered by Artigoyte and 
Chaudron-Rousseau, the representatives, raised- the popular society, and had 
the audacity to declare through it, that those two representatives had lost the 
confidence of the people. They were vanquished, however, and confined, 
together with their principal accomplices. 

These scenes were repeated everywhere, with more or less violence, ac- 
cording to the character of the provinces. The Jacobins were nevertheless 
Everywhere subdued. Those of Paris, the chiefs of the coalition, .were in 
the greatest alarm. They saw the capital adverse to their doctrines ; they 
learned that in the departments public opinion, less prompt to manifest itself 
than in Paris, was not less decided against them. They knew that they 
were everywhere called cannibals, partisans, accomplices of Robespierre's, 
men who aspired to be the agents in continuing his system. They found 
themselves supported, it- is true, by the multitude of dismissed placemen, 
by the electorsil club, by a violent and frequendy victorious minority in the 
sections, by a portion of the members of the Convention, some of whom still 


sat in their society ; but they were not the less alarmed at the direction of 
the pubUc mind, and pretended that a plot was formed for dissolving tlie 
popular societies, and after them, the republic. 

They drew up an address to the afliliated societies as a reply to the attackt 
which were made upon tliem. " People are striving," said they, " to de- 
stroy our fraternal union ; tliey are striving to break the fasces so formida- 
ble to the enemies of equality and of liberty. We are accused, we are 
assailed by the blackest calumnies. Aristocracy and the advocates of mode- 
ration are raising their audacious heads. The fatal reaction occasioned by 
the fall of tlie triumvirs is perpetuated, and from amidst the storms engen- 
dered by the enemies of the people, a new faction has sprung up, which 
tends to the dissolution of all the popular societies. It harasses and strives 
to excite the public opinion ; it carries its audacity to such a length as to 
hold us forth as a rival power to the national representation — us, who always 
rally round and fight along with it in all the dangers of the country. It ac- 
cuses us of continuing Robespierre's system, and we liave in our registers 
the names of those only who, in the night between the 9th and 10th of 
Thermidor, occupied the post which the danger of the country assigned to 
tliem. But we will reply to tliese vile calumniators by combating them 
without ceasing. We will reply to them by the purity of our principles and 
of our actions, and by an unshaken attachment to the cause of the people 
which they have betrayed, to the national representation which they aim at 
dislionouring, and to equality which they detest." 

They affected, as we see, a high respect for the national representation. 
They had even, in one 'of their sittings, given up to the committee of gene- 
ral safety one of their members, for having said that the principal conspira- 
tors against liberty were in the very bosom of the Convention. They 
circulated their address in all the departments, and particularly in the sec- 
tions of Paris. 

The party which was opposed to them became daily bolder. It had 
already adopted distinguishing colours, manners, places, and watchwords. 
It was, as we have stated, young men, either belonging to persecuted fami- 
lies, or who had evaded the requisition, that had begun to form this party. 
The women had joined them ; they had passed the last winter in consterna- 
tion ; they determined to pass the present in festivities and amusements. 
Frimaire (December) approached. They were eager to reluiquish the ap- 
pearances of indigence, of simplicity, nay even of squalidness, which had 
long been affected during the Reign of Terror, for brilliant dresses, elegant 
manners, and entertainments.* They made common cause with tlie young 
enemies of a ferocious democracy ; they excited their zeal, they made po- 
liteness and attention to dress, a law witli tiiem. Fashion began again to 
exercise its sway. It required the hair to be plaited in tresses, and fastened 
at the back of the head with a comb. This practice was borrowed from die 
soldiers, who arranged their hair in that manner to parry sword-cuts ; and 

* "The manners of the people during these days of reviving order, exhibited an exUra- 
ordinary mixture of revolutionary reckleiisn&M, with the reviving gaiety and elegance of (he 
French character. In the saloons of the Thermidoriatis, none but the most humane mea- 
sures were proposed, or the most generous sentiments uttered. One of the most fashionable 
and brilliant assemblies was cal!e<l, The Ball of the Victims, the condition of entrance to 
which was the loss of a near relation by the guillotine. Between the country dances they 
said, * We dance on the tombs ;' and a favourite dress for the hair wu adopted from the way 
in which it had been arranged immediately before execution."— ^l/inm. £. 

1*^ fffStORY OF THE 

it was intended to intimate that the wearers had borne a part in the victories of 
our armies. It Avas also requisite to wear large cravats, black or green col- 
lars, according to the custom of the Chouans, and above all crape round the 
aVm, as the relative of a victim of the revolutionary tribunal. We see what 
a singular medley of ideas, recollections, and opinions presided over the 
fashions of the gilded youth — for that was the name which was given to it 
at the time. In the evening, in the drawing-rooms, which again began to be 
brilliant, praises rewarded those young men who had displayed their courage 
in tlie sections, at the Palais Royal, in the garden df the Tuileries, and those 
writers who, in the thousand pamphlets and publications of the day, had 
launched the keenest sarcasms against the revolutionary canaille. Freron 
had become the most distinguished of the journalists. He was the editor of 
the Orateur du Peiiple, which soon acquired celebrity. This was the 
journal read by the gilded youth, and in which it sought its daily instruc- 

The theatres were not yet opened : the actors of the Coraedie Fran^aise 
were still in prison. For want of this place of resort, pjeople went to show 
themselves at concerts given at the Theiltre Feydeau, where was to be 
heard a melodious voice which began to charm the Parisians — that of Garat. 
There assembled what might be called the aristocracy of the time : some 
nobles who had not quitted France, opulent men who dared show them- 
selves again, and contractors who no longer dreaded the terrible severity of 
the committee of public welfare. The women appeared there, in a costume, 
which, according to the practice of the time, was meant to be antique, and 
was copied from David. They had long relinquished poATder and hoops : 
at these new entertainments they wore fillets round their hair; the form of 
their gowns approached as nearly as possible to the simple tunic of the 
Greek women ; instead of high-heeled shoes, they wore that covering for the 
foot which we see in ancient statues, a light sandal, fastened by ribbons 
crossing one another round the leg. The young men, with hair turned up 
and black collar, filled the pit of the Feydeau, and sometimes applauded 
the elegant and singularly dressed females who came to embellish those 

Madame Tallien was the most beautiful and the most admired of those 
ladies who introduced the new taste. Her drawing-room was the most bril- 
liant and the most frequented. Being the daughter of Cabanis, the Spanish 
banker, the wife of a president at Bordeaux, and recently married to Tallien, 
she was connected with the men both of the old and of the new regime. 
She was indignant against the system of terror, as well from resentment as 
from goodness of heart ; site had sympathized with all the unfortunate, and, 
whether at Bordeaux or in Paris, she had not ceased for a moment to act 
the part of petitioner in their behalf, a part which she performed, we are 
told, with irresistible grace. It was she who had softened the proconsular 
severity displayed by her husband in the Gironde, and who had brought him 
back to more humane sentiments. She wished to give him the part of 
peacemaker, of repairer of the evils of the Revolution ; she drew around her 
all those who had contributed with him to the 9th of Thermidor, and strove 
to win them by flattering them, and making them hope for the public grati- 
tude, for oblivion of the past, which many of them needed, and for power 
which was now promised to the adversaries rather than to the partisans of 
terror. She was surrounded by amiable women, who contributed to this 
plan of such a pardonable seduction. Among them shone the widow of an 



unfortunate general, Alexandre Beauharnais, a young Creole,* fascinating 
not on account of her beauty, but her extreme gracefulness. To these par- 
ties were invited simple and enthusiastic men, who led a life of austerity and 
turmoil. They were caressed, sometimes rallied on their dress, on their 
manners, and on the severity of their principles. They were placed at 
table by men whom they would lately have persecuted as aristocrats, en- 
riched speculators, and plunderers of the public property ; they were thus 
forced to feel their own inferiority beside models of the ancient politeness 
and boil ton. Many of them, in narrow circumstances, lost their dignity 
together with their rudeness ; others who, from the strength of their under- 

• " Josephine Rose-Tascher de la Pagerie, Empress of the French, Queen of Italy, waa 
born in Martinique in 1763. While very young, her father took her to France to marry her 
to the Viscount Beauharnais. She was then in the prime of her beauty, and met with great 
success at court She bore her husband two children, Eugene and Hortense, and in 1787 
returned to Martinique to attend the bedside of her invalid mother. She took her daughter 
with her and pt^ssed three years in that island. The troubles, however, which then sudden- 
ly broke out, compelled her to return to France, where she arrived, after narrowly escaping 
great perils. A singular prophecy had been made to her when a child, which she used to 
mention, when it was apparently fulfilled in her high destiny. During the Reign of Terror, 
her husband, who had defended France at the head of its armies, was thrown into prison 
and executed. Josephine also was imprisoned, but, on the death of Robespierre, she was 
liberated by Tallien, and was indebted to Barrasfor the restoration of a part of her husband's 
property. At his house she became acquainted with Bonaparte, who married her in 1796. 
She exerted her great influence over him, invariably on the side of mercy ; protected many 
emigrants, and encouraged arts and industry. Napoleon used often to say to her, ' If I win 
battles, you win hearts.' When he ascended the imperial throne, Josephine was crowned 
with him, both at Paris and at Milan. She loved pomp and magnificence and was very ex- 
travagant in her tastes. A few years after her coronation, the Emperor divorced her, when 
she retired to Malmaison. She was soon afterwards doomed to see the destruction of that 
throne on which she had sate. The Emperor Alexander and the King of Prussia paid her 
frequent visits at Malmaison, but the fate of Napoleon undermined her strength, and, having 
exposed herself, while in a feeble state of health, by walking out with Alexander, she caught 
cold, and died in the arms of her children in May, 1814." — Encyclopaedia Americana. E. 

" Josephine was really an amiable woman — the best woman in France. She was the 
greatest patroness of the fine arts which that country had known for years. She was graee 
personified. Everything she did was with peculiar elegance and delicacy. I never saw her 
act otherwise than gracefully during the whole time we lived together. Her toilet was a 
perfect arsenal, and she eflectually defended herself against the assaults of time." — .S Voice 
from Si. Helena. E. 

" Josephine possessed personal graces and many good qualities. Benevolence was natu- 
ral to her, but she was not always prudent in its exercise. Her taste for splendonr and ex- 
pense was excessive. This proneness to luxury became a habit, which seemed constantly 
indulged without any motive. What scenes have I not witnessed when the moment for 
paying the tradesmen's bills arrived ! She always kept back one-half of their claims, and 
the discovery of this exposed her to new reproaches. When fortune placed a crown upon 
her bead, she told me that the event, extraordinary as it was, had been predicted. It is cer- 
tain that she put great faith in fortune-tellers." — Bourrienne. E. 

" Eugene Beauharnais was not more than fourteen or fifteen years of age when he ven- 
tured to introduce himself to Bonaparte, for the purpose of soliciting his father's sword, of 
which he understood the general had become possessed. The countenance and firank air of 
Eugene pleased Napoleon, and he immediately granted him the boon he sought. As soon 
as the sword was placed in the boy's hands he burst into tears, and kissed it. This feeling 
of affection for his father's memory increased Bonaparte's interest in his young visiter. Hb 
mother, Josephine, on learning the kind reception which the general had given her son, 
thought it h%r duty to call and thank him. Napoleon returned her visit, and the acquaint- 
ance thus commenced, speedily led to their marriage." — Memoirs of Conttant. E. 

" At the period of her marriage with Bonaparte, Joaephine was still a fine woman. Her 
teeth, it is true, were already frightfully decayed ; but when her mouth was closed, she look* 
ed, especially at a little distance, both young and pretty." — Duelust (TAbranta. E. 

VOL. HI. — 20 



standing, knew how to keep up their rank and to gain those advantages of 
the drawing-room so frivolous and so soon acquired, were nevertheless not 
proof 'against delicate flattery. Many a member of a committee, adroitly 
solicited at a dinner-party, rendered a service or suffered his vote to be 

. Thus a woman, sprung from a financier, married to a magistrate, and who 
had become, like one of the spoils of the old state of society, the wife of 
an ardent revolutionist, undertook to reconcile simple, sometimes coarse, 
and almost always fanatical, men with elegance, taste, pleasures, ease of 
manners, and indifference as to opinions. The Revolution, brought back 
from that extreme point of fanaticism and coarseness, from which it was 
certainly beneficial to bring it back, advanced nevertheless too rapidly to- 
wards the oblivion of republican manners, principles, and, we may almost 
say, resentments. The Thermidorians were reproached with this change. 
They were accused of giving way to it, of producing it, of accelerating it, 
and the reproach was just. 

The revolutionists kept aloof from these drawing-rooms and from these 
concerts. If some few of them ventured to appear there, they left them 
only to go to their tribunes to inveigh against the Cabarus, against the aristo- 
crats, against the intriguers and the contractors, whom she drew along in her 
train. They, for their part, had no other meetings than their clubs and their 
assemblies of sections, to which they resorted, not to seek pleasure, but to 
give vent to their passions. Their wives, who were called the furies of th^ 
guilhtine, because they had frequently formed a circle round the scaffold, 
appeawd in popular costume in the tribunes of the clubs, to applaud the most 
violeot motions. Several members of the Convention still attended tlie 
sittings of the Jacobins ; some carried thither their celebrity, but they were 
silent and gloomy ; such were CoUot-d'Herbois, Billaud-Varennes, and Car- 
rier. Others, as Duhem, Crassons, Lanot, went thither from attachment to 
the cause, but without the personal reason of defending their revolutionary 

It was at the Palais-Royal, around the Convention, in the tribunes, and 
in the sections, that the two parties came into collision. In the sections, in 
particular, where they had to deliberate and to discuss, extremely violent 
quarrels took place. The address of the Jacobins to the affiliated societies 
was just at that time carried about from one to another, and some insisted 
on having it read there. A decree enjoined also the reading of the report 
of Robert Lindet on the state of France, a report which presented so faithful 
a picture of it, and expressed so precisely the sentiments with which the 
Convention and all honest men were animated. The reading of these docu- 
ments furnished occasion every Decadi for the warmest disputes. The 
revolutionists called loudly for the address of the Jacobins, and their adver- 
saries for Lindet's report. A frightful uproar was the consequence. The 
members of the old revolutionary committees took down the names of all 
those who mounted the tribune to oppose them, and, as they wrote them, 
they exclaimed, " We will exterminate them." The habits which they had 
contracted during the Reign of Terror had made the words to kill, to guillo- 
tine, so familiar to them, that they had them constantly in their mouths. 
They thus gave occasion for its being said that they were making new lists 
of proscription, and intended to revive the system of Robespierrtf. Fights 
frequently took place in the sections ; sometimes victory was undecided, 
and there had been no possibility ot reading anything when ten o'clock ar- 
rived. The revolutionists, who did not" scruple to exceed the lawful hour, 


would then wait till their adversaries, who affected to obey the law, had 
withdrawn, when they read what tliey pleased, and deliberated on any sub- 
jects which tliey wished to discuss. 

Scenes of this kind were daily reported to the Convention, and complaints 
were made against the old members of the revolutionary committees, who were, 
it was said, the authors of all these disturbances. The electoral club, more 
noisy of itself than all the sections put together, had just urged the patience 
of the Assembly to the utmost, by an address of the most dangerous kind. 
It was, as we have said, in this club that the men most compromised always 
met, and that the most daring schemes were conceived. A deputation from 
this club came to demand that the election of the municipal magistrates 
should be restored to the people ; that the municipality of Paris, which had 
not been re-established since the 9th of Therraidor, should be reconstituted ; 
and lastly, that instead of a single meeting per decade, each section should 
be allowed to hold two. On this last petition a great number of deputies 
rose, made the most vehement complaints, and demanded measures against 
the members of the old revolutionary committees, to whom they attributed all 
the disturbances. Legendre, though he had disapproved Lecointre's first 
attack upon Billaud-Varennes, Collot-d'Herbois, and Barrere, said that it 
was necessary to go further back, that the source of the evil was in the mem- 
bers of the former committees of government, that they abused the indul- 
gence which the Assembly had shown them, and that it was high time to 
punish their ancient tyranny, in order to prevent a new one. 

This discussion excited a fresh tumult, more violent than the first. After 
long and deplorable recriminations, the Assembly, meeting with only such 
questions as were dangerous or not to be solved, passed a second time to the 
order of the day. Various means were successively suggested for repressing 
the extravagances of the popular societies and the abuse of the right of peti- 
tion. It was proposed to annex to Lindet's report an address to the French 
people, expressing in a still more precise and energetic manner the senti- 
ments of the Assembly and the new course which it intended to pursue. 
This idea was adopted. Richard, who had just returned from the army, 
insisted that this was not enough ; that it was necessary to govern vigor- 
ously ; that addresses signified nothing, because all the makers of petitions 
would not fail to reply to them ; and that people ought not to be suffered to 
use at the bar such language as in the streets would cause those who dared 
to utter it to be apprehended. " It is high time," said Bourdon of the Oise, 
" to address useful truths to you. Do you know why your armies are 
constantly victorious ? — because they observe strict discipline. Have a good 
police in the state, and you will have a good government. Do you know 
whence proceed tlie everlasting attacks directed against yours ? — from the 
abuse by your enemies of all that is democratic in your institutions. They 
take delight in reporting that you will never have a government — that you 
will be forever involved in anarchy. It may then be possible that a nation 
constantly victorious should not know how to govern itself. And would the 
Convention, knowing that this alone prevents the completion of the Revolu- 
tion, neglect to provide for it ? No, no ; let us undeceive our enemies. It 
18 by the abuse of the popular societies and of the right of petition that they 
aim at destroying us. It is tliis abuse that must be repressed." 

Various expedients were submitted for repressing the abuse of popular 
societies without destroying them. Pelet, in order to deprive the Jacobins 
of the support of several Mountaineer deputies who belonged to their society. 



and especially Billaud-Varennea, Collot-d'Herbois, and other dangerous 
leaders, proposed to forbid members of the Convention from becoming mem- 
bers of any popular societies. This suggestion was adopted. But a great 
number of remonstrances arose from the Mountain. It was urged that the 
right of meeting, for the purpose of enlightening themselves on the subject 
of the public interests, was a right belonging to all the citizens, and of which 
a deputy could no more be deprived than any other member of the state ; that 
consequently the decree adopted was a violation of an absolute and unassail- 
able right. The decree was rescinded. Dubois-Crance made another mo- 
tion. Explaining the manner in which the Jacobins had purified themselves, 
he showed that this society contained within its bosom the very same persons 
who had misled it in the time of Robespierre. He maintained that the Con- 
vention had a right to purify it afresh, in the same way as it proceeded, by 
means of its commissioners in regard to the societies in the departments ; and 
he proposed to refer the question to the competent committees, that they*Tiight 
devise a suitable mode of purification, and the means of rendering the popu- 
lar societies useful. This new motion was also adopted. 

The decree produced a great uproar at the Jacobins. They cried out that 
Dubois-Crance had deceived the Convention ; that the purification ordered 
after the 9th of Thermidor had been strictly executed ; that nobody had a 
right to require a repetition of it ; that among them all were worthy to sit in 
that illustrious society, which had rendered such services to the country ; 
that, they did not shrink from the severest scrutiny, and were ready to sub- 
mit to the investigation of the Convention. They decided, in consequence, 
that a list of all their members should be printed and carried to the bar by a 

On the following day, the 13th of Vendemiaire, they were less tractable. 
They declared that the decision adopted the preceding evening was incon- 
siderate ; that to deliver a list of the members of the society to the Assembly 
was to admit that it possessed the right of purification, which belonged to 
nobody ; that, as all the citizens had a right to meet without arms, to confer 
together on questions of public interest, no individual could be declared un- 
worthy of forming part of a society ; that, consequently, purification was 
contrary to all rights, and no list ought to be furnished. " The popular so- 
cieties," exclaimed Giot, a vehement Jacobin, and one of those who held 
appointments about the armies, " the popular societies belong exclusively to 
tiiemselves. Were it otherwise, the infamous court would have thinned that 
of the Jacobins, and you would have seen benches which ought to be occu- 
pied by virtue alone sullied by the presence of Jaucours and Feuillants. 
Now, the court itself, which spared nothing, durst not attack you, and shall 
that which the court dared not attempt be undertaken at the moment when 
the Jacobins have sworn to overthrow all tj'rants, be they who they may, 
and to be ever submissive to the Convention ? I have just come from the 
departments ; I can assure you that the existence of the popular societies is 
extremely endangered ; I have been treated as a villain because the designa- 
tion of Jacobin was inserted in my commission. I was told that I belonged 
to a society composed entirely of banditti. Secret intrigues are at work to 
separate from you the other societies of the republic. I have been so fortu- 
nate as to prevent the separation, and to strengthen the bonds of fraternity 
between you and the society of Bayonne, which Robespierre calumniated in 
your bosom. What I have said of one commune applies to all. Be prudent, 
continue to adhere to principles and to the Convention, and, above all, allow 
to no authority the right of weeding you." The Jacobins applauded this 


speech, and decided that they would not carry this list to the Convention« but 
await its decrees. 

The electoral club was much more tumultuous. Since its last petition, it 
had been expelled from the Eveche, and had taken refuge in a room of the 
Museum, close to the Convention. There, in a nocturnal sitting, amid the 
furious shouts of those who attended it, and the yells of the women who 
filled the tribunes, it declared that tlie Convention had overstepped the dura 
tion of its powers ; that it had been commissioned to try tlie late King and to 
frame a constitution ; that it had done both ; and that, consequently, its task 
was performed, and its powers were at an end. 

These scenes at the Jacobins and at the electoral club were also denounced 
to the Convention, which referred the whole to the committees charged to sub- 
mit to it a plan relative to the abuses of the popular societies. It had voted 
an address, agreeably to the suggestion made to it a few days before, and 
sent it to the sections and to all the communes of the republic. This address, 
couched in firm yet discreet language, repeated, in a more precise and posi- 
tive manner, tlie sentiments expressed in Lindet's reports. It became the 
subject of fresh struggles in Uie sections. The Revolutionists wished to pre- 
vent its being read, and opposed the voting in reply of addresses of adhesion. 
They obtained the adoption, on the contrary, of addresses to the Jacobins, 
to assure them of the interest that was taken in their cause. It frequently 
happened that, after they had decided this vote, tlieir adversaries received 
reinforcements, when they were expelled, and the section, thus renewed, 
came to a contrary decision- Thus, too, there were several sections which 
presented two contrary addresses, one to the Jacobins, the other to the Con- 
vention. In one, the addressers extolled the services of the popular societies, 
and expressed wishes for their conservation ; in the other, they said that the 
section, delivered from the yoke of anarchists and terrorists, came at length 
to express its free sentiments to the Convention, to offer its arms and its life, 
to put down at once those who would continue the system of Robespierre 
and the agents of royalism. The Convention listened to these addresses till 
the plan relative to tlie police of the popular societies should be promulgated. 

It was presented on the 25lh of Vendemiaire. Its principal object was to 
break the coalition formed in France by all the societies of the Jacobins. 
Affiliated with the parent society, corresponding regularly with it, they 
composed a vast party, skUfully organized, which had one centre and one 
direction. This it was that the plan in question aimed to destroy. The 
decree forbade " all atRliations and federations, as well as all correspondence 
under a collective name between popular societies." It purported, moreover, 
that no petitions or addresses could be made in a collective name, in order to 
put a stop to those imperious manifestoes, which the deputies of the Jacobins 
or of the electoral club brought and read at the bar, and which, in many 
instances, had become orders to the Assembly. Every address or petition 
was to be individually signed. The means of prosecuting the authors of 
dangerous propositions would thus be secured, and it was hoped that the 
necessity of signing would make them cautious. A list of the members of 
every society was to be prepared immediately, and hung up in its place of 
meeting. No sooner was this decree read to the Assembly, than a great 
number of voices were raised to oppose it. The authors of it, said the 
Mountaineers, aim at destroying the popular societies, forgetting that they 
have saved the Revolution and liberty, forgetting that they are the most 
powerful medium of uniting the citizens and keeping up their energy and 
patriotism: by forbidding their correspondence, they attack t)ie essential 




right. belonging to all the citizens of corresponding together, a right as 
sacred as that of meeting peaceably to confer on questions of public interest. 

Lejeune, Duhem, and Crassous, all Jacobins, all deeply interested in 
setting aside this decree, were not the only deputies who thus expressed 
themselves. Thibaudeau,* a sincere republican, a stranger both to the 
Mountaineers and to the Therraidorians, appeared himself to dread the 
consequences/ of this decree, and moved its adjournment, apprehensive lest 
it might strike at the very existence of the popular societies. We wish not 
to destroy them, replied the Thermidorians, the authors of the decree ; we 
only want to place them under the eye of the police. Amidst this conflict. 
Merlin of Thionville exclaimed, "President, call the opposers to order. 
They allege that we want to suppress the popular societies, whereas, all that 
18 aimed at is to regulate their present relations." Rewbel, Bentabolle, 
Thuriot, demonstrated that there was no intention of suppressing them. 
Are they prevented, said they, from assembling peaceably and without arms, 
to confer on the public interests ? Assuredly not ; that right remains intact. 
They are only prevented from forming affiliations, federations, and no more 
is done in regard to them than has been already done in regard to the depart- ' 
mental authorities. These latter, according to the decree of the 14th of 
Friraaire, which institutes the revolutionary government, cannot correspond 
or concert together. Can the popular societies be allowed to do what has 
been forbidden to the departmental authorities ? They are forbidden to cor- 
respond collectively, and no right is thereby violated: every citizen can 
assuredly correspond from one end of France to the other; but do the 
citizens correspond through a president and secretary? It is this official 
correspondence between powerful and constituted bodies that the decree 
aims, and with good reason, at preventing, in order to destroy a federalism 
more monstrous and more dangerous than that of the departments. It is by 
these affiliations, and by this correspondence, that the Jacobins have con- 
trived to gain a real influence over the government, and a part in the direction 
of aflfairs, which ought to belong to the national representation alone. 

Bourdon of the Oise, one of the leading members of the committee of 
general safety, and, as we have seen, a Thermidorian, frequently in opposition 
to his friends, exclaimed, " The popular societies are not the people. I see the 
people in the primary assemblies only. The popular societies are a collection 
of men, who have chosen themselves, like monks, and who have succeeded 
in forming an exclusive, a permanent aristocracy, which assumes the name 
of the people, and which places itself beside the national representation, to 
suggest, to modify, or to oppose its resolutions. By the side of the Con- 
vention, I see another representation springing up, and that representation 
has its seat at the Jacobins." Bourdon was here interrupted by applause. 
He proceeded in the following terms : " So little am I influenced by passion 

* "Antoine-Claire Thibaudeau was appointed, in 1792, deputy to the National Conven- 
tion, where he voted for the King's death. After the fall of Robespierre he became one of 
the chiefs of that party which declared equally against the Mountaineers and the Royaliets. 
He presided in the Convention, was named secretary, and in October, 1794, procured the 
recall of Paine to that Assembly. In the following year he showed the greatest courage in 
repulsing the partial insurrections of the sections which took place. In 1796 Thibadeau was 
appointed president of the council of Five Hundred, and warmly opposed Tallien and his 
party. He retired from the legislative body in the year 1 798, and was made prefect of the 
department of Gironde. In 1803 he was decorated with the cross of a Legionary, and sub- 
sequently appointed prefect of Marseilles, which office he held in 1806. He was the author 
of many works of no great note." — Blographie Modeme. His History of the Consulate of 
the Empire, lately published, in 10 vols. 8vo., is, however, a valuable performance. E. 


on this subject, that, in order to secure unity and peace, I would cheerfully 
say to the people, ♦ Choose between the men whom ye have appointed to 
represent you, and those who have arisen by the side of them. What sig- 
nifies it, so ye have a single uniform representation?' " Fresh applause 
interrupted the speaker. He resumed: "Yes," he exclaimed, "let the 
people choose between you and the men who have wanted to proscribe the 
representatives possessing the national confidence, between you and the men 
who, in connexion with the municipality of Paris, aimed a few months since 
at assassinating liberty. Citizens, would you make a durable peace? would 
you attain the ancient boundaries of Gaul ? Present to the Belgians, to the 
people bordering the Rhine, a peaceable revolution, a republic without a double 
representation, a republic without revolutionary committees stained with the 
blood of citizens. Say to the Belgians, to the people of the Rhine, ♦ Ye wanted 
a partial liberty, we give it you entire, only sparing you the cruel calamities 
preceding its establishment, sparing you the sanguinary trials through which 
we have ourselves passed.' Consider, citizens, that, in order to deter the 
neighbouring nations from uniting with you, people declare that you have no 
government, and tliat, if they would treat with you, they know not whether to 
address themselves to the Convention or to the Jacobins. Give, on the con- 
trary, unity and harmony to your government, and you will see that no nation 
is hostile to you and your principles ; you wUl see that no nation hates liberty." 

Duhem, Crassous, and Clausel, proposed at least the adjournment of the 
decree, saying that it was too important to be passed so suddenly. They 
all claimed permission to speak at once. Merlin of Thionville demanded 
leave to speak against them, with that ardour which he displayed in the 
tribune, ^ well as in the field of battle. The president decided that they 
should be heard in succession. Dubarran, Lavasseur, Romme,* also spoke 
against the decree ; Thuriot in favour of it. At length Merlin again mounted 
the tribune. "Citizens," said he, "when the establishment of the republic 
was discussed, you decreed it without adjournment and without report. The 
question now before you is nothing less than to establish it a second time, by 
saving it from the popular societies which have coalesced against it. Citi- 
zens, we must not be afraid to enter that cavern in spite of the blood and tlie 
carcasses which obstruct the entrance. Dare to penetrate it, dare to drive 
out of it the villains and the murderers, and leave behind only the good citi- 
zens to weigh peacefully the great interests of the country. I exhort you to 
pass this decree, which saves the republic, as you did that which created it, 
that is, without adjournment or report." 

Merlin was applauded, and the decree voted immediately, article by article. 
It was the first blow given to that celebrated society, which, up to this day, 

• " G. Romme, a farmer at Gimeaux, and an ancient professor of mathematics and phi- 
losophy, was born in 1 750, and was deputed to the Convention, where he voted for the death 
of Louis, and showed himself a violent Jacobin. On the overthrow of the Mountain, he 
dissembled his principles for some time, but could not help showing, in the aiTair of Carrier, 
his disapprobation of the system of retribution which then prevailed. In the year 1795 
Romme devoted himself more than ever to the cause of the Jacobins, and when the faux- 
bourgs rose in insurrection he showed himself one of their most ardent chiefs, and loudly 
demanded a return to the system of terror. For this, a decree of arrest was passed against 
him, and a military council condemned him to death. At the moment, however, when his 
sentence was read, he 8tabl)cd himself, and was supposed to be dead, which was the reason 
why he was not sent to the scaffold. It has since been believed that his friends, having taken 
him to some retreat, their cares restored him to life, and that he then went secretly into Russia, 
where he lived in utter obscurity. At the time of his condemnation Romme was forty-five 
yeari of age." — Biographic Modeme. E. 


had struck terror into the Convention, and served to impart to it a revolution- 
ary direction. It was not so much the provisions of the decree, which might 
be easily evaded, as the courage to pass it, that was of consequence here, 
and which could not but forewarn the Jacobins of their approaching end. 
Upon meeting in the evening in their hall, they commented on the decree 
and the manner in which it had been passed. Lejeune, the deputy, who in 
the morning had opposed its adoption with all his might, complained that he 
had not been seconded. He said that few members of the Assembly had 
spoken in defence of the society to which they belonged. " There are," 
said he, " members of the Convention, celebrated for their revolutionary and 
patriotic energy, who this day maintained a reprehensible silence. Those 
members are either guilty of tyranny, of which they are accused, or they 
have laboured for the public welfare. In the first case, they are culpable, 
and ought to be punished ; in the second, their task is not finished. After 
they have prepared by their toils the successes of the defenders of the coun- 
try, they ought to defend principles and the rights of the people when 
attacked. Two months ago, you talked incessantly in this tribune about the 
rights of the people, you, Collot and Billaud ; why have ye now ceased to 
defend them ? Why are ye silent, now that a multitude of objects claim the 
exercise of your courage and your intelligence?" 

Ever since the accusation preferred against them? Billaud and Collot had 
observed a sullen silence. Being called upon by their colleague, Lejeune, 
and charged with having neglected to defend the society, they declared, in 
reply, that if they kept silence it was from prudence and not from weakness ; 
that they were fearful of injuring by their support^he cause which the pa- 
triots upheld ; that, for some lime past, the apprehension of doing mischief 
to the discussions had been the only motive of their reserve; that, moreover, 
being accused of domineering over the Convention, they meant to reply to 
their accusers by abstaining from all interference ; that they were delighted 
to find themselves called upon by their colleagues to emerge from this volun- 
tary nullity, and authorized, as it were, to devote themselves again to the 
cause of liberty and of the republic. 

Satisfied with this explanation, the Jacobins applauded, and resumed the 
consideration of the law passed in the morning : they consoled themselves 
with saying that they would correspond with all France by means of the tri- 
bune. Goujon exhorted them to respect the law just enacted. They pro- 
mised to do so, but one Terrasson proposed an expedient for carr}-ing on 
their correspondence without violating the law. He recommended that a 
circular letter should be prepared, not written in the name of the Jacobins 
and addressed to other Jacobins, but signed by all the free men meeting in 
the hall of the Jacobins, and addressed to all the free men in France meet- 
ing in popular societies. This plan was adopted with great joy, and a cir- 
cular of this kind was resolved upon. 

We see how little the Jticobins cared about the threats of the Convention, 
and how far they were from a disposition to profit by the lesson that it had 
just given them. While waiting till new facts should provoke further mea- 
sures in regard to them, the Convention set about the task which Robert 
Lindet had marked out for it in his report, and the discussion of the questions 
which he had proposed. That task consisted in repairing the mischievous 
effects of a violent system upon agriculture, commerce, and finances, in re- 
storing security to all classes of society, and in reviving in them a love of 
order and industry. On these points the representatives were as divided in 
system, and as disposed to lose their temper, as on all other subjects. 


The requisitions, the maximum, the assignats, the sequestration of the 
property of foreigners, provoked not less violent attacks upon the old govern- 
ment than the imprisonments and the executions. The Thermidorians, 
extremely ignorant on matters of public economy, made a point, from a spirit 
of reaction, of censuring in severe and insulting terms all that had been done 
in that department; and yet if, in the general administration of the state dur- 
ing the past year, there was anything irreproachable and completely justified 
by necessity, it was the administration of the committee of finances, provi- 
sions, and supplies. Cambon, the most influential member of tlie committee 
of finances, had brought the exchequer into the best order; he had, it is true, 
caused a great quantity of assignats to be issued, but this was the only re- 
source ; and he had quarrelled with Robespierre, St. Just, and Couthon, 
because he opposed various revolutionary expenses. As for Lindet, who 
superintended the department of transport and requisitions, he had laboured 
witli admirable zeal to obtain from abroad, or by requisitions in France, the 
necessary supplies, and to convey them either to the armies or to the great 
communes. The medium of requisitions which he had been obliged to em- 
ploy was violent, but it was admitted to be the only possible one, and Lindet 
had taken care to use it with the greatest tenderness. He could not be an- 
swerable either for the fidelity of all his agents or for the conduct of all those 
who had a right to levy requisitions, such as the municipal functionaries, the 
representatives, and the commissioners to the armies. 

The Thermidorians, and Tallieri in particular, made the most silly and the 
roost unjust attacks on the general system of raising the means, and the 
mode of employing them. The primary cause of all the evils was, accord- 
ing to them, the too abundant issue of assignats; that inordinate issue had 
depreciated them, and they were now in excessive disproportion to the ne- 
cessaries of life and commodities in general. Hence it was that the maxi- 
mum had become so oppressive and so disastrous, because it obliged the 
seller or the reimbursed creditor to accept a nominal value, which was daily 
becoming more and more illusory. In all this there was nothing very new, 
nothing very useful ; everybody knew as much ; but Tallien and his friends 
attributed the excessive issue to Cambon, and seemed thus to impute to him 
all the calamities of the state. To him they likewise attributed the seques- 
tration of foreign property, a measure which, having provoked reprisals 
against the French, had suspended all circulation of paper, and every sort 
of credit, and had ruined commerce. As for the commission of supplies, the 
same censors accused ittof having harassed France by requisitions, of having 
expended enormous sums abroad in purchasing corn, and of having never- 
theless left Paris in a destitute state, at the approach of a severe winter. 
They proposed to call it to a severe account. 

Cambon was a man whose integrity was acknowledged by all parties. 
With ardent zeal for the due administration of the finances, he united an im- 
petuous temper, which an unjust reproach drove beyond all bounds. He had 
sent word to Tallien and his friends that he would not attack them if they 
left him alone, but that, if they hazarded a single calumny, he would give 
them no quarter. Tallien had the imprudence to add newspaper articles to 
his attacks from the tribune. Cambon could refrain no longer, and, in one 
of the numerous sittings spent in the discussion of these subjects, he rushed 
to the tribune, and ihus apostrophized Tallien: "What! dost thou attack me? 
Wouldst thou throw a cloud over my integrity ? Well, then, I will prove 
tliat thou art a robber and a murderer. Thou hast not rendered thy ac(;ounta 
as secretary of the commune, and I have proof of this at the committee of 

VOL. III. — 21 o 2 


the finances ; thou hast authorized an expenditure of fifteen hundred thou- 
sand francs for an object which will cover thee with infamy; thou hast not 
rendered thy accounts for thy mission to Bordeaux, and of all this too I have 
proof at the committee. Thou wilt ever be suspected of conniving at the 
crimes of September, and, by thine own words, I will prove to thee this 
connivance, which must for ever doom thee to silence." Carabon was inter- 
rupted: he was told that these personalities had nothing to do with the dis- 
cussion, that nobody denied his integrity, that it was only his financial system 
that was Censured. Tallien stammered out a few faltering words, and said 
that he would not reply to what related to himself personally, but only to so 
much as bore upon the general question. Cambon then demonstrated that 
the assignats had been the only resource of the Revolution ; that the expen- 
diture had amounted to three hundred millions per month ; that, amidst the 
disorder which prevailed, the receipts had furnished scarcely one-fourth of 
that sum ; that it was necessary to make up the deficiency everj' month with 
assignats ; that the quantity in circulation was no secret, and amounted to six 
thousand four hundred millions; that, on the other hand, the national domains 
were worth twelve thousand millions, and afforded ample means for acquit- 
ting the republic ; that he had, at the peril of his life, saved five hundred 
millions for expenses proposed by Robespierre, St. Just, and Couthon; that 
he had long opposed the maximum and the sequestration ; and that, as for 
the commission of commerce being obliged to pay for corn abroad at the rate 
of twenty-one francs per quintal and to sell it in France for fourteen, it was 
not wonderful that it should have incurred an enormous expense. 

These controversies, so imprudent on the part of the Thermidorians, who, 
whether right or wrong, had not the most unblemished reputation, and who 
attacked a man of the purest honour, extensive information, and extremely 
violent temper, caused the Assembly a great waste of time. Though the 
Thermidorians had ceased these attacks, Cambon had no peace, but daily 
repeated in the tribune, "Accuse me! vile rabble! Come, then, examine 
my accounts, and judge of my conduct." — " Be quiet," cried one or the 
other to him ; " nobody denies your integrity ;" but he reverted to the sub- 
ject every day. Amidst this conflict of personalities, the Assembly pursued, 
as far as lay in its power, the measures best adapted to repair or to mitigate 
the evil. 

It ordered a general statement of the finances, exhibiting the receipts and 
the expenditure, and a memorial on the means of withdrawing a portion of 
the assignats, but still without recurring to demonetsation, in order not to 
discredit them. On' the motion of Cambon, it renounced a paltry financial 
shift, which gave rise to many extortions, and disgusted the prejudices of 
many of the provinces — that of melting the Church plate. This plate had 
been at first estimated at one thousand millions. In reality it did not amount 
to more than thirty. It was decided that it should no longer be allowed to 
be touched, and that it should remain in the custody of the communes. The 
Convention then strove to correct the most serious inconveniences of the 
mdximum. Some voices already cried out for its abolition ; but the fear of 
a disproportionate rise of prices prevented the Assembly from yielding to this 
impulse of the reactors. It merely considered how to modify the law. The 
marimum had contributed to ruin commerce, because, in conforming to the 
tariff, the merchants could not recover either the price o^ freight or that of 
insurance. In consequence, all colonial goods, all commodities of primary 
necessity, all raw materials imported from abroad, were released from the 
maximttm and from requisitions, and might be sold at a free price to any 


person whatever. The same favour was granted to merchandise taken in 
prizes, which lay in the ports without finding a sale. The uniform maxi- 
mttm of com was attended with an extremely serious inconvenience. The 
production of corn, being more cosdy and less abundant in certain provinces, 
the prices received by tlie farmers in those provinces did not even repay 
their expenses. It'was decided that the price of corn should vary in each 
department, according to the standard of 1790, but that it should be two- 
thirds higher. In thus increasing the price of provisions, the intention was 
to raise the pay, the salaries, the income of small stockholders ; but this 
idea, proposed in all sincerity by Cambon, was opposed as perfidious by 
Tallien, and adjourned. 

The Assembly next turned its attention to the requisitions. That they 
might no longer be general, unlimited, or confused, that they might no longer 
exhaust the means of transport, it was decided that the commission of sup- 
plies should alone have authority to make requisitions ; thai it should not 
have power to lay under requisition the whole of any article, or the whole 
of the productions of any department, but that it should specify the object, 
its nature, its quantity, die time of delivery and of payment ; that requisi- 
tions should be made in proportion to the want, and in the district nearest to 
that want The representatives with the armies were alone empowered, in an 
emergency arising either from a want of provisions or a rapid movement, to 
make immediately the necessary requisitions. 

The question of the sequestration of foreign property was warmly dis- 
cussed. Some urged tliat war ought not to be extended from governments to 
subjects ; that subjects ought to be suffered to continue peaceably their in- 
tercourse and their eicchanges, and armies only ought to be attacked ; that 
the French had seized only twenty-five millions, whereas one hundred mil 
lions of theirs had been seized ; that they ought to return the twenty-five 
millions, that their hundred might be restored ; that tliis measure was ruinous 
to the bankers, since they were obliged to pay into the Treasury what they 
owed to foreigners, while they were not paid what foreigners owed them, 
the governments having seized it by way of reprisals ; that this prolonged 
measure rendered French commerce suspicious even to neutrals ; lasUy, that 
the circulation of paper having ceased, it was necessary to pay in money 
for part of the goods procured from the neighbouring countries. The others 
replied that, since it was proposed to separate subjects from governments in 
war, it would be right in future to direct bullets and cannon-balls at the heads 
of kings only, and not at those of their soldiers ; that it would be necessary 
to restore to English commerce the vessels taken by our privateers, and to 
keep only the ships of war ; that, if we were to restore the twenty-five mil- 
lions sequestrated, the example would not be followed by the hostile govern- 
ments, and the hundred millions of French property would still be retained ; 
and that to re-establish the circulation of bills would only be to furnish the 
emigrants with the means of receiving funds. 

The Convention durst not cut the knot of this question, and merely de- 
cided that the sequestration should be taken off in regard to the Belgians, 
whom conquest had in some measure placed in a state of peace with France^ 
and in regard to the merchants of Hamburg, who were innocent of the war 
declared by the Empire, and whose bills represented corn sold by them to 

To all these reparatory measures, adopted for the benefit of agriculture 
and commerce, the Convention added all those which were likely to restore 
security and to recall the merchants. A decree outlawed all who had with- 


drawn themselves either from trial or from the application of a law. Thus 
the persons condemned by the revolutionary commissions, the suspected who 
had concealed themselves, could return to their homes. To the suspected 
who were still detained in confinement the management of their property was 
restored. Lyons was declared to be no longer in a state of rebellion ; its 
name was restored to it ; the demolitions of houses ceased ; the goods des- 
tined for it, and which had been sequestrated by the surroundi]jg communes, 
■were given up ; its merchants no longer needed certificates of citizenship to 
receive or despatch merchandise ; the circulation was therefore renewed for 
that unfortunate city. The members of the popular commission of Bordeaux 
and their adherents, that is to say almost all the merchants of that place, had 
been oudawed ; this decree was repealed. A column of disgrace was to be 
raised at Caen in memory of federalism : it was decided that it should not 
be erected. Sedan was allowed to manufacture cloths of all qualities. 
TTie departments of the North, the Pas-de-Oalais, the Aisne, and the Somme, 
were relieved from the land-tax for four years, on condition of their re-esta- 
blishing the cultivation of flax and hemp. Lastly, a glance was extended 
towards unfortunate La Vendue. Hentz and Francastel the representatives, 
General Turreau, and several others, who had executed the formidable de- 
crees of terror, were recalled. It was alleged, as it was but natural, that 
they were the accomplices of Robespierre and of the committee of public 
welfare, who, in employing cruelty, had wished to make the war in La Ven- 
dee last for ever. It is not known why the committee should have had such 
an intention ; but parties repay absurdity with absurdity. Vimeaux was 
appointed to command in La Vendee, and young Hoche in Bretagne. Fresh 
representatives were sent to those countries, with directions to ascertain if it 
would be possible to induce the inhabitants to accept an amnesty and thus to 
bring about a pacification.* 

We see how rapid and how general was the return to different sentiments. 
It was but natural that, when turning its attention to all sorts of evils, to all 
classes of proscribed persons, that the assembly should think also of its own 
members. For upwards of a year, seventy-three of them had been impri- 
soned at Port-Libre for having signed a protest against the proceedings on 
the 31st of May. They had written a letter, demanding a trial. All who 
were left of the right side, part of the members of what was called the 
Belly, rose upon a question which concerned the security of voting, and de- 
manded the release of their colleagues. Then one of those stormy and 
interminable discussions ensued which almost always arise when past trans- 
actions are referred to. " You mean, then, to condemn the proceedings of 
the 31st of May," exclaimed the Mountaineers ; " you mean to stigmatize an 
event which up to this moment you have proclaimed glorious and salutary ; 
you want to raise a faction, which by its opposition had nearly undone the 
republic ; you want to revjve federalism ! ! !" The Thermidorians, authors 

' " When the amnesty was talked of, the Vendcan officers canre with their arms and whue 
cockades to Nantes ; many were so imprudent as to deride publicly the republican habits and 
opinions, and even to spit upon the tricoloured cockade, and give other rash provocations. 
The representatives who had come to treat at Nantes, were but slightly ofTended by th«ae 
proceedings, and only expressed their feara that such conduct might retard llie padficatioo. 
Nothing could exceed the attention shown to the Vendeans liberated from prison, or apply 
ing for the amnesty, and it was even forbidden on pain of three days' imprisonment, to call 
them brigands. In the quaint language of the day, tlie representatives ordered that wa 
should be called ' Misled Brethren.' The amnesty once agreed upon, moderation becamr 
the order of the day." — Mcmoirt of the Marchioneat de Laroch^aquekin, E. 


or approvers of the events of the 31st of May, were embarrassed, and, to 
postpone the decision, a report upon the seventy-tliree was ordered. 

It is in tlie nature of reactions to seek not only to repair tlie mischief done, 
but also to take revenge. The trial of Lebon and Fouquier-Tinville was 
every day demanded, as tliat of Billaud, Collot, Barrere, Vadier, Amar, Vou- 
land, David, members of tlie old committees, had already been. Time was 
continually bringing propositions of this kind. The drownings of Nantes, 
which had long remained unknown, were at length revealed. One hundred 
and thirty-three inhabitants of that city, sent to Paris, to be tried by the revo- 
lutionary tribunal, not having arrived till after the 9th of Thermidor, had 
been acquitted, and all the revelations which they had to make respecting 
the calamities of their city were listened to. Such was the public indigna- 
tion that it was found necessary to summon the revolutionary committee of 
Nantes to Paris. The proceeding disclosed all the usual atrocities of civil 
war. In Paris, at a distance from the theatre of tlie war, people had no 
conception tliat ferocity had been carried to such a length. The accused 
had but one plea, which they opposed to all the charges preferred against 
tliem — La Vendee at their gates, and the orders of Carrier, the representa- 
tive. Seeing that the end of the proceedings drew near, they daily inveighed 
more and more vehemently against Carrier, insisting that he should share 
their fate and be called to account for the acts which he had ordered. The 
public in general demanded the apprehension of Carrier and his trial before 
the revolutionary tribunal. The Convention was obliged to come to some 
decision. The Mountaineers asked, if, after having already imprisoned Le- 
bon and David, and several times accused Billaud, Collot, and Barrere, it 
was not intended to prosecute all the deputies who had been sent on mis- 
sions. To dispel their fears, a decree was passed relative to the formalities 
to be employed, whenever there was occasion to institute proceedings 
against a member of the national representation. This decree was long dis- 
cussed, and with the greatest animosity on both sides. The Mountaineers, 
in order to prevent a new decimation, were for rendering the formalities long 
and difficult. Those who were called reactors, wished, on the contrary, to 
simplify them, in order to render the punishment of certain deputies, who 
were styled proconsuls, more speedy and more certain. It was finally de- 
creed that every denunciation should be referred to the three committees of 
public welfare, of general safety, and legislation, that they might decide 
whether there was ground for inquiry ; that, in case of an affirmative deci- 
sion, a sort of commission of twenty-one members should be formed to make 
a report ; that, after this report and the exculpatory defence of the accused 
deputy, the Convention should decide whether there was ground for the ac- 
cusation, and send the deputy before the competent tribunal. 

As soon as the decree was passed, the three committees declared that there 
was ground for examination against Carrier : a commission of twenty-one 
members was formed : it took possession of the documents, summoned Car- 
rier before it, and commenced the proceedings. After what had passed 
before the revolutionary tribunal, and the knowledge which everybody had 
acquired of the facts, the fate of Carrier could not be doubtful. The Moun- 
taineers, though they condemned the crimes of Carrier, alleged that the real 
intention was not to punish those crimes, but to commence a long series of 
persecutions against the men whose energy had saved France. Their ad- 
versaries, on the contrary, hearing the members of the revolutionary com- 
mittee daily demand the appearance of Carrier, and observing the procrasti- 
nation of the commission of twenty -one, cried out that there was a wish to 


save him. The committee of general safety, apprehensive lest he should 
escape, had surrounded him with police-agents, who never lost sight of him. 
Carrier, however, had no thoughts of flight. Some revolutionists had 
secredy exhorted him to escape, but he had not resolution sufficient to adopt 
anysuch step. He appeared to be overwhelmed, and, as it were, paralyzed 
by the public horror. One day, perceiving that he was followed, he went 
up to one of the agents, asked why he was watched, and pointed a pistol at 
him ; a scuffle ensued, the armed force interfered, and Carrier was seized 
and conducted to his abode. This scene excited a great murmur in the As- 
sembly, and violent complaints at the Jacobins. It was said that the national 
representation had been violated in the person of Carrier, and an explanation 
was demanded from the committee of general safety. That committee ex- 
plained how the circumstances happened, and though severely censured, it 
had at least occasion to prove that there was no intention to favour the escape 
of Carrier. The commission of twenty-one at length made its report, and 
concluded that there was ground for accusation before the revolutionary tri- 
bunal. Carrier feebly strove to defend himself:* he threw the blame of all 
the cruelties on the exasperation produced by the civil war, on the necessity 
of striking terror into La Vendee which still assumed a threatening aspect, 
lastly, on the impulse communicated by the committee of public welfare, to 
which he durst not impute the drownings, but to which he attributed that 
inspiration of ferocious energy which had hurried away several of the com- 
missioners of the Convention. Here dangerous questions, which had 
already been several times raised, were again revived. The assembly found 
itself liable to be involved once more in the discussion of the part which each 
had acted in the violent scenes of the Revolution ; the commissioners might 
throw upon the committees, the committees on the Convention, and the Con- 
vention on France, the blame of that inspiration which had produced such 
frightful but such great results, and which belonged to everybody, but above 
all to a situation without parallel. " Everybody and everything," said Car- 
rier in a moment of despair, " is guilty here, even to the president's bell." 
The talc of the atrocities committed at Nantes had, however, excited such 
indignation that not one member durst defend Carrier, or even thought of 
screening him by general considerations. He was unanimously decreed to 
be under accusation, and sent to the revolutionary tribunal. 

Thus the reaction was making rapid strides. The blows which its au- 
thors had not yet dared to strike at the members of the old committees of 
government, they were about to aim at Carrier. All the members of tlie 
revolutionary committees, all those of the Convention who had fultilUed 
missions, in short all the men who had been invested with rigorous functions, 
began to tremble for themselves. 

The Jacobins, already struck by a decree which forbade their affiliation 
and correspondence in a collective name, had need of prudence ; but since 
the late events it was not*probable that they would be able to contain them- 
selves and to avoid a struggle with the Convention and the Thermidorians. 
What had passed in regard to Carrier led in fact to a stormy meeting of 

* " Carrier laid his cruelties to the account of the cruelties of the Vendeans themselres. 
• When I acted,' said he, ' the air seemed still to ring with the civic songs of twenty thousand 
martyrs, who had repeated. Long live the Republic! in the midst of tortures. How could 
expiring humanity have made herself heard in those terrible times ? What would they 
who now rise against me have done if thoy had been placed in my situation ! I have nveiri 
the republic at Nantes, I have lived for my country alone, and I now know how to die fat 
iU^—Mignet. E. 


their club. Crassous, a deputy and a Jacobin, drew a sketch of the means 
employed by tlie aristocracy to ruin the patriots. " The trial now going 
forward before the revolutionary tribunal," said he, " is its principal resource, 
and that on which it places the greatest reliance. The accused are scarcely 
allowed a hearing before that tribunal ; the witnesses are almost all of Hxeva 
persons interested in making a great noise about this affair ; some have pass- 
ports signed by Chouans ; Uie newspaper-writers and the pamphleteers have 
joined to exaggerate the most trifling facts, to mislead public opinion, and to 
keep out of sight the cruel circumstances which produced and which explain 
the misfortunes that happened not at Nantes only, but throughout all France. 
If the Convention does not take care, it will find itself dishonoured by these 
aristocrats, who make such a noise about this trial merely to throw all the 
odium of it upon the Assembly. It is not the Jacobins who must now be 
accused of wishing to dissolve the Convention, but those men who have 
coalesced to compromise and to degrade it in the eyes of France. Let, 
then, all good patriots beware. The attack on them is already begun. 
Let them close tlieir ranks and be ready to defend themselves with energy." 

Several Jacobins spoke after Crassous, and repeated nearly the same sen- 
timents. "People talk," said they, "of shootings and drownings, but they 
do not recollect that the individuads for whom they feel pity had furnished 
succours to the banditti. They do not recollect the cruelties perpetrated on 
our volunteers, who were hanged upon trees and sliot in files. If vengeance 
is demanded for the banditti, let the families of two hundred thousand 
republicans, mercilessly slaughtered, come also to demand vengeance." 
There was great excitement. The sitting became an absolute tumult, when 
Billaud-Varennes, whom the Jacobins reproached for his sullen silence, took 
his turn to speak. " The course of the counter-revolutionists," said he, " is 
known. When, in the time of the Constituent Assembly, they wanted to 
bring the Revolution to trial, tliey called the Jacobins disorganizers, and shot 
them in the Champ de Mars. After the 2d of September, when tliey wanted 
to prevent the establislmient of the republic, they called them quafTers of 
blood, and loaded them with atrocious calumnies. They are now recom- 
mencing the same machinations ; but let them not expect to triumph. The 
patriots have been able to keep silence for a moment ; but the lion is not 
dead when he slumbers, and when he awakes he exterminates all his 
enemies. The trenches are opened, the patriots are about to rouse them- 
selves, and to resume all their energy : we have already risked our lives a 
thousand times ; if the scaffold yet awaits us, let us recollect tliat it was the 
scaffold which covered the immortal Sidney with glory." 

This speech electrified all minds. Billaud-Varennes was applauded, and 
his colleagues thronged around him, vowing to make common cause with the 
threatened patriots, and to defend themselves to the last extremity.* 

In the existing state of parties such a sitting could not fail to excite great 
attention. These words of Billaud-Varennes's, who had hitherto abstained 
from showing himself in either of the two tribunes, were a real declaration 
of war. The Thormidorians actually regarded them as such. Next day, 

* " That ancient revolutionary cavern, the Jacobin club, now once again heard its roof re- 
■ound with deuunciations by which Billaud-Varennes and othurs devoted to the infernal 
deities those who, they complained, wished to involve all honest republicans with sangui- 
nary charges brought against Robespierre and his friends. Their threats, however, were no 
longer rapidly followed by the thunderlwlts which used to atti-nd such flashes of Jacobin elo- 
quence. Men's homes were now in comparison safe. A man might be named in a Jacobin 
club u am aristocrat or a moderate, and yet live." — Scott'a Life of Napoleon, £. 


BentaboUe, snatching up the Journal de la Montagne, containing a report 
of the sitting of the Jacobins, denounced tliese expressions of Billaud-Va- 
rennes's : The lion is not dead when he slu/nberts, and ichen he awakes he 
exterminates all his enemies. Scarcely had BiMitaboUe finished reading 
this sentence when the Mountaineers took fire, loaded him willi abuse and 
told him that he wza one of those who had procured tlie release of the aristo- 
crats. Duhera called him a scoundrel. Tallien warmly insisted that Benta- 
boUe should be heard, but the latter, alarmed at the tumult, would have 
descended from the tribune. He was, however, persuaded to slay, and he 
then proposed that Billaud-Varennes should be required to explain what he 
meant by tlie awaking of the lion. Billaud said a few words from his place. 
" To the tribune !" was shouted from all quarters. He refused, but was at 
length obliged to ascend and to address the Assembly. " I shall not disa- 
vow," said he, " the opinion that I expressed at the Jacobins. Wliile I con- 
ceived that the question related to private quarrels only, I kept silence ; but 
I could no longer liold my tongue when I saw the aristocracy rise up more 
threatening than ever." At the last words, there was a burst of laughter io 
one of the tribunes, and a noise was made in the other. " Turn out the 
Chouans !" was shouted from the Mountain. Billaud continued amidst the 
applause of some and the murmurs of others. He said, in a faltering voice, 
that well-known royalists had been released, and the purest patriots impri- 
soned ; he mentioned Madame de Tourzel, governess of the children of the 
royal family, who had just been liberated, and who might of herself form a 
nucleus of counter-revolution. At tlie concluding words, fresh bursts of 
laugliter arose. He added that the secret conduct of the committees belied 
the public language of the addresses of the Convention ; that, in such a state 
of things, he was justified in talking of the necessary awaking of tlie patriots, 
for it is the sleep of men over their rights that leads them to slavery. 

Some cheers were given by tlie Mountain in favour of Billaud, but part of 
the tribunes and of the Assembly burst into a violent fit of laughter, and felt 
only that pity which is excited by prostrate power, stammering forth empty 
words for its justification. Tallien hastened to succeed Billaud, and to repel 
his charges. " It is high time," said he, " to reply to those men who would 
fain direct tlie hands of the people against the Convention." — " Nobody tries 
to do so," cried some voices in the hall. " Yes, yes," rejoined others, 
" there are those who wish to direct the hands of the people against the Con- 
vention." — " It is those men," continued Tallien, " who are alarmed at 
seeing tlie sword suspended over guilty heads, at seeing light thrown upoa 
all the departments of the administration, the vengeance of the laws ready to 
alight upon assassins — it is those men who are now bestirring themselves, 
who pretend that tlie people ought to awake, who strive to mislead the pa- 
triots by persuading them that they are all compromised ; and, finally, who 
hope, by favour of a general commotion, to prevent the prosecution of the 
accomplices or abettors of Carrier." Universal applause interrupted Tallien. 
Billaud, indignant at the charge of collusion with Carrier, exclaimed from 
his place, " I declare that I have never approved the conduct of Carrier.'* 
No notice was taken of this protest of Billaud's ; Tallien was applauded, 
and thus resumed : " It is impossible to suffer any longer two rival author- 
ities, to permit members who are silent here to go elsewhere immediately 
and to denounce all that you have done." — " No, no," cried several voices, 
" no rival authorities to the Convention."—" People must not," proceeded 
Tallien, •' be allowed to go to any place whatever to pour forth ignominy 
upon the Convention, and upon those of its members to whom it has com 


mitted the government. I shall draw no conclusion," added he, " at this 
moment. It is sufficient that this tribune has replied to what has been said 
in another ; it is sufficient that the unanimity of the Convention be strongly 
expressed against blood-thirsty men." 

Fresh plaudits proved to Tallien that the Assembly was determined to 
second any measure that might be proposed against the Jacobins. Bourdon 
of the Oise supported the sentiments of the last speaker, though he differed 
on many questions from his friends the Thermidorians. I^egendre also 
raised his energetic voice. "Who are they," said he, " that blame our opera- 
tions ? — a handful of men of prey. Look them in the face. You will see 
that theirs is covered with a varnish composed of the gall of tyrants." 
These expressions, alluding to the gloomy and bilious countenance of Billaud- 
Varennes, were loudly applauded. " What have you to complain of," con- 
tinued Legendre, " you, who are constantly accusing us ? Is it because 
citizens are no longer sent to prison by hundreds ? because the guillotine no 
longer despatches fifty, sixty, or eighty persons per day ? Ah ! I must con- 
fess that on this point our pleasure differs from yours, and that our manner 
of sweeping the prisons is not the same. We have visited them ourselves ; 
we liave made, as far as it was possible to do so, a distinction between the 
aristocrats and the patriots ; if we have done wrong, here are our heads to 
answer for it. But while we make reparation for crimes, while we are 
striving to make you forget that those crimes are your own, why do you go 
to a notorious society to denounce us, and to mislead the people who attend 
there, fortunately in no great number ? I move," added Legendre, as he con- 
cluded, " that the Convention take measures for preventing its members 
from going and preaching up rebellion at the Jacobins." The Convention 
adopted Legendre's proposition, and directed the committees to submit those 
measures to its consideration. 

The Convention and the Jacobins were thus arrayed against each other, 
and in this state, when words were exhausted, there was nothing left but to 
strike. The intention to destroy that celebrated society* began to be no 
longer doubtful. It was only necessary that the committees should have the 
courage to propose that measure. The Jacobins were aware of this, and 
complained in all their sittings that there was an evident determination to 
dissolve them. They likened the existing government to Leopold, to Bruns- 
wick, and to Coburg, who had demanded their dissolution. One assertion, 
in particular, made in the tribune, had furnished them with a fertile text for 
representing themselves as calumniated and attacked. It was alleged that 
letters had been intercepted containing proofs that the committee of emigrants 
in Switzerland was in correspondence with the Jacobins of Paris. Had it 
been said that the emigrants wished for commotions which should obstruct 
the march of the government, that would no doubt have been correct. A 
letter seized upon an emigrant stated in fact that the hope of conquering the 
Revolution by arms was insane, and that its adversaries ought to seek to de- 
stroy it by its own disorders. But if, on the contrary, people went so far as 
to s'.Appose that the Jacobins and tlio ciiiiirraius corresponded and concerted 
together to attain the same end, they said what was equally absurd and ridi- 

* " Though the Jacobin society haJ most eatentially served the cause of the repuUic at a 
time when it was neoissary, in order to repel the attacks of Europe, to place the government 
in the hands of the multitude, yet, at the present crixis, it could have no other effect than to 
counteract the existing order of things. Its destruction had now become necessary. For 
the position of the alTairs was changed, and it was fit that liberty should succeed to dub 
dictatorship." — Migntt. E. 

VOL. III. — 22 P 


culous, and the Jacobins desired nothing better. Accordingly, they never 
ceased, for several days, to declare that tliey were calumniated ; and Duhem, 
at several dtfTerent times, insisted that those pretended letters should be read 
from the tribune. 

The agitation in Paris was extreme. Numerous groups, some starting 
from the Palais Royal and composed of young men with double queues and 
black collars, others from the fauxbourg St. Antoine, the Rues St. Denis and 
St. Martin, and all the quarters were the Jacobins preponderated, met at the 
Carrousel, in the garden of the Tuileries, in the Place de la Revolution. 
Some shouted. The Convention for ever! Down with the Terrorists and 
Robespierre'' s tail! — others replied with cries of The Convention for ever! 
The Jacobins for ever! Down with the aristocrats ! They had their pe- 
culiar songs. The gilded youth had adopted an air which was called the 
Reveil du Peuple ; the partisans of the Jacobins sang that old air of the 
Revolution rendered famous by so many victories: Allons enfans de la 
patrie. These adverse groups met ; they sang their appropriate songs ; tlien 
set up hostile shouts, and frequently attacked one another with stones and 
sticks. Blood was spilt, and prisoners were taken and delivered by both 
parties to the committee of general safety. The Jacobins declared that this 
committee, composed entirely of Thermidorians, released the young men 
who were sent to it, and detained the patriots only. 

These scenes lasted for several successive days, and at length became so 
alarming that the committees of government took measures of safety, and 
doubled the guard at all the posts. On the 19tli of Brumaire (November 9, 
1794), the assemblages were still more numerous and more considerable than 
on the preceding days. A party, setting out from the Palais Royal, and 
passing through the rue St. Honore, had proceeded to the hall of the Jaco- 
bins and surrounded it. The concourse kept continually increasing, all the 
avenues were choked up, and the Jacobins, who were just then sitting, 
might fairly conceive themselves besieged. Some groups that were favour- 
able to them had shouted, The Convention for ever! the Jacobins for ever! 
and had been answered by the contrary cries. A battle ensued, and, as the 
young men were the stronger, they soon succeeded in dispersing all the hos- 
tile groups. They then surrounded the hall of the club, and broke the win- 
dows with stones. Large flints had already fallen amidst the assembled 
Jacobins. The latter, enraged, cried out that they shoidd be murdered ; and, 
availing themselves of the presence of some members of the Convention, 
they declared that the national representation was about to be slaughtered. 
The women, who filled their tribunes, and who were called the Furies of the 
Guillotine, attempted to leave the hall, to escape the danger; but tlie young 
men who beset it seized those who endeavoured to get away, subjecte(^them to 
the most indecent treatment, and even cruelly chastised some of them.* Several 
had gone back into the hall in a wretched plight, with dishevelled hair, say- 
ing that they should be assassinated. Stones Avere still showered upon the 
assembly. The Jacobins then resolved to sally forth and fall upon the assail- 
ants. The energetic Duhem, armed with a stick, put himself at the head of 
one of these sorties, and the consequence was a tremendous fray in the rue 

• " On this occasion the female JacobinH came to rally and assist ihcir male associates, 
whereupon several of thorn were seized and punished in a manner which might excellently 
suit their meriu, but which shows that the young associates for maintaining order were not 
sufficiently aristocratic to lie under the absolute restraints imposed by the rules of chivalry. 
It is impossible, however, to grudge the flagellation administered on this memorable occa* 
aion." — Scot fa Lift of Napoleon. 




St. Honor^. Had the weapons on both sides been destructive, a massacre 
must have ensued. The Jacobins returned with some prisoners whom they 
had taken; the young men left outside threatened, if their comrades were 
not set at liberty, to break into the hall and to take signal vengeance on their 

This scene had lasted several hours before the committees of the govern- 
ment had assembled and could give orders. Several messengers from the 
Jacobins luid brought word to the committee of general safety that the depu- 
ties attending the meeting of the society were in danger of their lives. The 
four committees of public welfare, general safety, legislation, and war, met 
and resolved to send patroles immediately to extricate their colleagues who 
were compromised in this scene, which was more scandalous than mur- 

The patroles set out, with a member of each committee, for the scene of 
the combat. It was then eight o'clock. The members of the committees 
who were at the head of the patroles did not order them to charge the assail- 
ants, as the Jacobins desired : neither would they enter the hall, as their col- 
leagues there urged them to do ; they remained outside, exhorting the young 
men to disperse, and promising to take care that their comrades should be 
released. By degrees they succeeded in dispersing the groups ; th^ then 
made the Jacobins leave the hall, and sent every body home. 

Tranquillity being restored, they returned to their colleagues, and the four 
committees passed the night in deliberating upon what course to pursue. 
Some were for suspending the Jacobins, others opposed that measure. Thu- 
riot, in particular, though one of those who had attacked Robespierre on the 
9th of Thermidor, began to be alarmed at the reaction, and seemed to^lean 
towards the Jacobins. The committees separated without coming to any 

In the morning (Brumaire 20), a most violent scene took place in the As- 
sembly. Duhem was the first, as it may naturally be supposed, to insist that 
the patriots had been well-nigh murdered on the preceding evening, and that 
the committee of general safety had not done its duty. The tribunes, taking 
part in the discussion, made a tremendous noise, and seemed, on the one 
hand, to confirm, on the other, to deny, the statements. The disturbers were 
turned out, and, immediately afterwards, a number of members demanded 
permission to speak : Bourdon of the Oise, Rewbel,* and Clausel, in behalf 
of the committee; Duhem, Duroy, Bentabolle, against it. Each spoke 
in his turn, stated the facts in his own way, and was interrupted by the 
contradictions of those who had viewed them in a contrary light. Some 
had only perceived groups maltreating the patriots ; others had only met 
with groups maltreating the young men, and abusing the Convention 
and the committees. Duhem, who could scarcely contain himself during 
these discussions, cried out that the ])lovvs had been directed by the aristo- 
crats, who dined at the house of Cabarus, and who went a-hunting at Raincy. 
He was not suffered to speak, and, amidst this conflict of contrary assertions, 
it was evident that the committees, notwithstanding their readiness to meet 

• " Rewbel, who inveighed bitterly against the Jacobins, said, ' Where has tyranny been 
organized 1 At the Jacobins. Where has it found its supporters and its satellites 1 At 
the Jacobins. Who have covered France with mourning, carried despair into families, filled 
the country with prisons, and rendered the republic so odious, that a slave pressed down by 
the weight of his irons would refuse to live under it? The Jacobins. Who regret tho 
frightful government under which we have lived ! The Jacobins. If you have not now 
the courage to declare yourselves, you have no longer a republic, 'lecause you have Jaco* 
biiw."'--%ne/. E. 


and to collect the armed force, had not been able to send it to the spot till 
very late ; that, when the patroles were at length sent towards the rue St. 
Honor^, they did not attempt to extricate the Jacobins by force, but had been 
content to disperse the concourse by degrees; that, in short, they had shown 
a very natural indulgence for groups shouting T'he Convention for ever! 
and in which it was not asserted that the government was under the sway of 
the counter-revolutionists. What more could have been well expected of 
them ? To preserve their enemies from maltreatment was their duty ; but to 
insist on their charging with the bayonet their own friends, that is to say, the 
young men who daily came in numbers to support them against the revolu- 
tionists, was requiring too much. They declared to the Convention that they 
had passed the night in discussing the question whether the Jacobins ought 
to be suspended or not. They were asked if they had yet formed any plan, 
and, on their reply that they were not yet agreed, the whole was referred to 
them, that they might come to some decision, and then communicate it to 
the Assembly. 

The 20th was rather quieter, because there was no sitting at the Jacobins ; 
but, on the 2l8t, the day for their meeting, the assemblages of people indi- 
cated that both sides were prepared, and it was evident that they would 
come to blows in the evening. The four committees immediately met, sus- 
pended by an ordinance the sittings of the Jacobins, and ordered the keys 
of tlie hall to be brought forthwith to the secretary's office of the committee of 
general safety. 

The order was obeyed, the hall locked up, and the keys carried to the 
secretary's office. This measure prevented the tumult that was apprehended. 
The assemblages dispersed, and the night was perfectly quiet. Next day, 
Laignelot came to communicate to the Convention, in the name of the four 
committees, the resolution which they had adopted. " We never had any 
intention to attack the popular societies," said he, " but we liave a right to 
close the doors of places where factions arise, and where civil war is preached 
up." The Convention hailed him with applause. A call of the Assembly 
was demanded, and the ordinance was sanctioned almost unanimously, amidst 
acclamations and shouts of The Republic for ever I The Convention for 
ever I 

Such was the end of that society whose name had continued to be so 
celebrated and so odious, and which, like all the assemblies, like all the men, 
who successively appeared on the stage, nay, like the Revolution itself, had 
the merit and the faults of extreme energy.* Placed below the Convention, 
open to all new comers, it was the arena to which the young revolutionists 
who had not yet figured, and who were impatient to show themselves, repaired 
to try their strength, and to accelerate the usually slower progress of the 
revolutionists who had already attained power. So long as there was need 
of fresh subjects, fresh talents, fresh lives ready to be sacrificed, the society 
of the Jacobins was serviceable, and furnished such men as the Revolution 
wanted in that terrible and sanguinary stniggle. But, when the Revolution, 
having arrived at its final term, began to retrograde, the ardent men whom 
it had produced, and who had survived that violent action, were driven back 

* " Thus fell the club of the Jacobins, the victim of the crimes it had aanctioned, and the 
reaction it had produced. Within its walls all the great changes of the Revolution had been 
prepared, and ail its principal scones rehearsed ; from its energy the triumph of the demo- 
cracy had sprung ; and from its atrocity its destruction arose — a signal proof of the tendencj 
of revolutionary violence to precipitate its supporteia into crime, and render them at last the 
victims of the atrocities which they have committed." — Aliwn. E. 


into the society of the Jacobins. It soon became troublesome by it« alarm, 
and dangerous even by its terrors. It was then sacrificed by the men who 
sought to bring back the RevoUuion from the extreme term to which it had 
been urged, to a middle course of reason, equity, and liberty, and who, blinded 
by hope, like ail the men who act, conceived that they could fix it in that 
desirable middle track. 

They were certainly right in striving to return to moderation ; and th« 
Jacobins were right in telling them that Uiey were nmning into counter-revo- 
lution. As revolutions, like a pendulum violently agitated, go from one ex- 
treme to another, we have always ground to predict that they will run into 
excesses, but fortunately, political societies, after having violendy oscillated 
in a contrary direction, subside at length into an equable and jusUy limited 
movement. But, before tliey arrive at that happy epoch, what time ! what 
calamities ! what bloodshed ! Our predecessors, the English, had to endure 
the infliction of a Cromwell and two Stuarts. 

The dispersed Jacobins were not the men to shut themselves up in private 
life, and to renounce political agitation. Some betook themselves to the 
electoral club, which, d^ven from the Eveche by the committee, held its 
meetings in one of the halls of the Museum. Others went to the fauxbourg 
St. Antoine, to the popular society of the section of the Quinze-Vingis. 
There the most conspicuous and the most violent men of the fauxbourg met. 
Thither the Jacobins repaired in a body on the 24th of Brumaire, saying, 
" Brave citizens of the fauxbourg Antoine ! you who are the only supporters 
of the people, you see the unfortunate Jacobins under persecution. We 
apply to be admitted into your society. We said to one another, ♦ Let ns 
go to the fauxbourg Antoine, we shall there be unassailable ; united we shall 
strike surer blows to preserve the people and the Convention from slavery.' " 
They were all admitted without examination, made use of the most violent 
and tlie most dangerous language, and several times read this article of the 
declaration of rights ; Tflien the government violates the rights of the 
people, insurrection is for the people the most sacred of rights and the 
most indispensable of duties. 

The committees, which had tried their strength and felt themselves capa- 
ble of acting vigorously, did not deem it necessary to pursue the Jacobins 
into their asylum, but allowed them to employ empty words, holding them- 
selves in readiness to act at the nrst signal, if those words should be followed 
up by deeds. 

M(^st of the sections of Paris took courage and expelled from their bosoms 
the Terrorists, as they were called, who retired towards the Temple, and to 
the fauxbourgs St. Antoine and St. Marceau. Delivered from this opposi- 
tion, they prepared numerous addresses congratulating the Convention on 
the energy which it had just displayed against Hobespierre' s accomplices 
.Similar addresses poured in from almost eJI the towns, and the Convention, 
thus borne along in the direction which it had lately taken, pursued it the 
more freely. The seventy-three, whose release had been already demanded, 
were loudly called for every day by the members of the centre and of the 
right side, who were anxious to reinforce themselves with seventy-three 
voices, and above all, to insure the lil>erty of the vote by recalling their col- 
leagues. They were at length released and reinstated in their seats ; the 
Convention, without explaining its sentiments concerning the events of the 
3l8t of May, declared that people might have differed in opinion on that 
subject from the majority, without on that account being guilty. They en- 
tered in a body, with old Dussaulx at their head. He acted as spokesman, 



and declared tliat, in resuming their seats by their colleagues, they laid aside 
all resentment, and were actuated solely by the wish to promote the public 
welfare. This step taken, it was too late to stop. Louvet, Lanjuinais,* 
Henri Lariviere, Doulcet, Isnard, all the Girondins who had escaped tlie 
proscription, and many of whom were hidden in caverns, wrote and demanded 
their reinstatement. On this subject a violent scene took place. The Ther- 
inidorians, alarmed at the rapidity of the reaction, paused and checked the 
right side, which, conceiving that it needed tliem, durst not displease them, 
.ind ceased to insist. It was decreed that the proceedings against the out- 
lawed deputies should be dropped, but that they should not return to the 
bosom of the Assembly. ^ 

The same spirit which caused some to be absolved led of necessity to the 
condemnation of others. An old deputy, named RafTron, exclaimed that it 
was high time to prosecute all who were guilty, and to prove to France that 
the Convention was not the accomplice of murderers. He moved that 
Lebon and David, both of whom had been apprehended, should be immedi- 
ately brought to trial. What had occurred in the South, and especially at 
Bedouin, having become known, a report and an #ct of accusation against 
Maignet were demanded. A great number of voices insisted on the trial of 
Fouquier-Tinville, and on the institution of proceedings against the former 
minister at war, Bouchotte, who had thrown open the war-office to the 
J^acobins. The same course was. called for against Pache, the ex-mayor, an 
accomplice, it was alleged, of the Hebertists, and saved by Robespierre. 
Amidst this torrent of attacks upon the revolutionary leaders, the three prin- 
cipal chiefs, who had long been defended, could not fail at length to fall. 
Billaud-Varennes, Collot-d'Herbois, and Barrere, being accused anew and 
in a formal manner by Legendre, could not escape the general fate. The 
committees could not help receiving the denunciation and giving their opinion. 
Lecointre, at first declared to be a calumniator, gave notice that the docu- 
ments with which he was at first not provided, he had since got printed : 
they were referred to the committees. The latter, hurried along by the force 
of opinion, durst not resist, and declared that there was ground for investi- 
gation in the case of Collot, Billaud, and Barrere, but not against Vadier, 
Vouland, Amar, and David. 

The proceedings against Carrier, which had long been proceeding, before 
the public that ill-disguised the spirit of reaction by which it was influenced, 
closed at last on tlie 5th of Nivose (December 25). Carrier and two members 
of the revolutionary committee of Nantes, Pinel and Grand-Maison, were 
condemned to death as agents and accomplices of the system of tcrror.t The 
others were acquitted, their participation in the drownings being excused on 
the ground of obedience to their superiors. Carrier, persisting to assert that 
the entire Revolution, and those who had eflTected, suffered, and directed it. 
were as guilty as he, was conveyed to the scaffold. He recovered resignation, 
at the fatal moment, and received death with composure and courage. In prooT 
of tlie blind excitement of civil wars, several traits of character were men- 
tioned demonstrating that Carrier, before his mission to Nantes, was by no 

* " Lanjuinais was the bravest and best man diat the Revolution produced. He was pro- 
scribed with the Girondins, but escaped ; and survived to exhibit the independent moderation 
of his character, through all the phases of the Revolution, even down to the restoration."— 
Quarterly Reviac. E. 

-{- " Out of five hundred members, four hundred and ninety-eight voted in favour of the 
sentence of death against Canier, the remaining two were also in favour of it, hot condition- 
ally."— i/oc/t//. E. 


mesins of a bloodthirsty disposition. The revolutionists, at tlie same time tliat 
they condemned his conduct, were alarmed at his fate; tliey could not conceal 
from themselves that this execution was the commencement of the bloody 
reprisals preparing for them by the counter-revolution. Besides the prose- 
cutions directed against the representatives who had been members of the 
old committees, or sent on missions, other laws, lately enacted, proved that 
vengeance was about to descend lower, and that the inferiority of the part 
would not save them. A decree required all those who had held any func- 
tion whatever, and had the handling of the public money, to give an account 
of their management. Now, as all the members of the revolutionary com- 
mittees and of the municipalities had formed chests with the produce of the 
taxes, with the church plate, and with the revolutionary imposts, for the 
purpose of organizing the first battalions of volunteers, paying the revolu- 
tionary armies, defraying the expense of transport, carrying on tlie police — 
in short, for a thousand causes of that nature, it was evident that every indi- 
vidual functionary during the system of terror would be amenable to inquiry. 
To these well-founded apprehensions were added very alarming reports. 
Peace with Holland, Prussia, the empire, Spain, and even La Vendue was 
talked of; and it was asserted that thef conditions of this peace would be 
ruinous to the revolutionary party. 



The French armies, masters of the whole left bank of the Rhine, and ready 
to debouch on the right bank, threatened Holland and Germany. Were they 
to be urged to advance or to go into cantonments ? Such was the question 
that presented itself. 

Notwithstanding their triumphs, and their abode in Belgium which was so 
rich, they were in a state of the greatest destitution. The country which 
they occupied, overrun for three years past by innumerable legions, was 
completely drained. To the evils of war were added those of the French 
admmistiiition, which had introduced in its train assignats, the maximum, 
and requisitions. Provisional municipalities, eight intermediate administra- 
tions, and a central administration established at Brussels, governed the 
country till its fate should be definitively decided. Twenty-five millions had 
been levied upon the clergy, the abbeys, the nobles, and the corporations. 
The assignats had been put into forced circulation ; the prices at Lille had 
been taken as a standard for fixing the maximum throughout all Belgium. 
Articles of consumption and commodities serviceable for the armies had 
been laid under requisition. These measures had not put an end to the 
dearth. The dealers, the farmers, hid all they possessed: the oflicer, like 
the common soldier, was in want of everything. 

Being levied oi masse in the preceding year, and transported in haste to 
Hondtschoote, Watignies, and Landau, the entire army had only been sup- 


plied by the administration with powder and projectiles. For a long time it 
had not encamped in tents, but bivouacked under boughs of trees, in spite 
of the commencement of an already severe winter. Many of the soldiers, 
destitute of shoes, fastened wisps of straw about their feet, or wrapped tliem- 
selves in mats for want of great coats. The officers, paid in assignats, found 
their appointments reduced sometimes to eight or ten effective francs per 
month ; those who received any assistance from their families were scarcely 
the better for it, as everything was put into requisition beforehand by the 
French administration. They fared precisely the same as the common 
soldiers, marching on foot, carrying the knapsack at their backs, eating 
ammunition bread, and living by the chances of war. 

The administration appeared to be exhausted by the efforts which it had 
made to raise and arm twelve hundred thousand men. Tlie new organiza- 
tion of the supreme power, feeble and divided, was not calculated to restore 
it to the necessary vigour and activity. Thus everything seemed to require 
that the army should be put into winter-quarters, and rewarded for its victo- 
ries and its military virtues by rest and abundant supplies. 

Meanwhile, we were before the fortress of Nimeguen, which, seated on 
the Wahl — the name given to the Rhine near its mouth—- commanded both 
banks, and might serve the enemy as a tete-du-pont for debouching in the 
next campaign on the left bank. It was, therefore, important to gain pos- 
session of that place before wintering, but the attack of it was a very difficult 
undertaking. The English army, ranged on the right bank, was encamped 
there to the number of thirty-eight thousand men : a bridge of boats enabled 
it to communicate with, and to re-victual the place. Besides its fortifica- 
tions, Nimeguep had before it an intrenched camp manned with troops. To 
render the investment complete, it would therefore have been necessary to 
throw upon the right bank an army which would have to run the risks of the 
passage and of a battle, and which, in case of defeat, would have had no 
means of retreat. Our troops, therefore, could act on the left bank only, 
and they would be obliged to attack the intrenched camp, without any great 
hope of success. 

The French generals nevertheless determined to try the effect of one of 
those sudden and bold attacks which had in so short a time opened to them 
the gates of Maestricht and Venloo. The allies, aware of the importance 
of Nimeguen, had met at Arnheim to concert the means of defending 
the place. It had been agreed that an Austrian corps under General 
Werneck should be taken into English pay, and form the left of the Duke 
of York for the defence of Holland, while the duke, with his English and 
Hanoverians, was to remain on the right bank before tlie bridge of Nime- 
guen and to recruit the forces of the place. General Werneck was to 
attempt, at a great distance above Nimeguen, towards Wesel, a singular 
movement, which experienced officers have deemed one of the most absurd 
that the coalition planned during all these campaigns. This corps, taking 
advantage of an island formed by the Rhine, near Buderich, was to cross to 
the right bank, and to attack a point betjveen the army of the Sambre and 
Meuse and that of the North. Thus twenty thousand men were to be 
thrown across a great river, between two victorious armies, each eighty or 
one hundred thousand strong, to see what effect they shoulil produce upon 
them. This corps was to be reinforced according to its success. It is ob- 
vious that this movement, executed with the united armies of the allies, 
might have been grand and decisive ; but, effected with twenty thotisand 


men^ it would be but a puerile attempt, and probably a disastrous one to the 
corps engaged in it. 

The allies, however, hoping to save Nimeguen by these means, caused 
Werneck's corps to advance towards Buderich on the one hand, and sorties 
to be made by the garrison of Nimeguen on the other. The French repulsed 
the sorties, and, as at Maestricht and Venloo, opened the trenches much 
closer to the place than was yet usual in war. A lucky, accident accelerated 
their operatioiis. The two extremities of the arc which they described 
about Nimeguen terminated at the Wahl : they attempted to fire from these 
extremities at the bridge. Some of their projectiles reached several pon- 
toons, and endangered the communications of the garrison with the English 
army. The English who were in the fortress, surprised at tliis by no means 
probable event, re-established the pontoons, and hastened to rejoin the main 
body of their army on the otlier bank, leaving the garrison composed of 
three thousand Dutch to itself. No sooner were the republicans aware of 
the evacuation than they redoubled their fire. The governor, alarmed, com- 
municated his situation to the Prince of Orange, and obtained permission to 
retire as soon as he should deem the danger sufficiendy urgent. The mo- 
ment he had received this authority, he crossed over himself. Disorder en- 
sued among the garrison. One part laid down their arms, another, attempt- 
ing to escape on a flying bridge, were stopped by the French who cut the 
cables, and they were stranded upon an island, where they were made 

On the 18th of Brumaire (November 8), the French entered Nimeguen,* 
and found themselves masters of that important place, owing to their temerity, 
and to the terror excited by their arms. Meanwhile the Austrians, com- 
manded by Werneck, hj^d attempted to debouch from Wessel, but the impe- 
tuous Vandamme, rushing upon them at the moment when they were 
setting foot on tlie other side of the Rhine, drove them back to the right 
bank ; and it was fortunate for them that they had not been more successful, 
for, had they advanced farther, they would have run the risk of being 

The fit moment had at length arrived for going into cantonments, since 
they were masters of all the important points on the Rhine. To conquer 
Holland ; to secure thus the navigation of the three great rivers, the Scheldt, 
the Meuse, and the Rhine ; to deprive England of her most powerful na\'al 
ally; to threaten Germany on its flanks; to interrupt the communications 
of our enemies on the continent with those of the Ocean, or at least to oblige 
them to make the long circuit by Hamburg ; to open to ourselves, in short, 
the richest country in the world, and the most desirable for us in the state 
that our commerce then was, — these were, to be sure, objects worthy of ex- 
<;iting the ambition of our government and of our armies ; but how durst 
they attempt the conquest of Holland, almost impossible at any time, but 
most impracticable in the rainy season ? Situated at the mouths of several 

• People in every country had been induced to look upon the siege of Nimeguen as an event 
that would terminate in great celebrity ; frhm its duration, the number of brilliant actions it 
would produce, and the unyielding obstinacy with which on both sides it would be accom- 
panied. The sudden and unexpected disappointment of all these expectations, put an end 
to the hopes which had been entertained that, laying aside the animosity of parties, the Dutch 
would at length cordially unite in opposing the threatened invasion of the French. The losa 
of the town was imputed at the time to the secret machinations of those within 'he walls, 
who were labouring in the service of the French, and continually giving them notice of 
whatever waa Uansacted in the ganiaoD. E. 

VOL. III. — ^23 


rivers, Holland consists of stripes of land thrown between the currents of 
those rivers and the sea. Its ^ soil, everywhere lower than the bed of the 
waters, is constantly threatened by the Ocean, the Rhine, the Meuse, the: 
Scheldt, and is intersected moreover by small detached arms of rivers, and 
by a multitude of artificial canals. These lowlands so menaced are covered 
with gardens, manufacturing towns and arsenals. At every step that an 
army attempts to take there, it comes either to broad streams whose banks 
are elevated, dykes lined with cannon, or to arms of rivers or canals, all de- 
fended by fortifications, or to fortresses which are the strongest in Europe. 
Those great manoeuvres which frequently disconcert methodical defence by 
rendering sieges useless, are therefore impossible in a country intersectea 
and defended by innumerable lines. If an army, nevertheless, succeeds in 
conquering so many obstacles and advances into Hplland, its inhabitants, by 
an act of heroism, of which they furnished an example in the time of Louis 
XIV., need only cut their dykes, in order to ingulf, together with their 
country, the army that has been rash enough to invade it. They have their 
shipping, left, and, like the Athenians of old, they can fly with their most 
valuable effects, and wait for better times, or go to India, and transfer their 
abode to the vast empire which there belongs to them. All tliCse difliculties 
are greatly increased during the season of inundations, and are insurmounta- 
ble with a maritime alliance, such as that of England. 

It is true that the spirit of independence which possessed the Dutch, their 
hatred of the stadtholdership, their aversion to England and Prussia, their 
acquaintance with their true interests, their resentment on account of the 
Revolution so unfortunately stifled in 1787, gave the French armies the cer- 
tainty of being ardently AVished for It vms to be presumed that the Dutch 
would oppose the cutting of the dykes and the ruining of the country for a 
cause which they detested. But the army of the Prince of Orange and that 
of the Duke of York still overawed them, and these united were sufficient to 
prevent the passage of the numberless lines which it would be necessary to 
carry in their presence. If then a surprise was rash in the time of Dumou- 
riez, it was almost insane at the end of 1794. 

The committee of public welfare, instigated by Dutch refugees, neverthe- 
less thought seriously of pushing a point beyond the Wahl. Pichegru, 
almost as badly off as his soldiers, who were eaten up by itch and vermin, 
had gone to Brussels to get cured of a cutaneous disease. Moreau andReg- 
nier* had succeeded him. Both were in favour of rest and winter quarters. 
The Dutch general Dacndels, a refugee and a gallant officer, earnestly recom- 
mended a first attempt on the isle of Bommel, which need not to be followed 
up, if that attack should fail. The Meuse and the Wahl, nmning parellel 
with the sea, unite just below Nimeguen, again separate, and once more 
unite at Wondrichem, a little above Gorcum. The tract indosed by them 
during their separation is called the isle of Bommel. Contrary to the opi- 
nion of Moreau and Regnier, an attack was attempted upon that island at 
three different points. It was not successful, and was immediately relin- 
quished with the utmost alacrity, especially on the part of General Daen- 
dels, who cheerfully acknowledged, as soon as he was convinced of, its im- 

Then, that is about the middle of Frimaire (tl>e beginning of December), 

• " Regnier was certainly a man of talent, but he was mow fit to give counsel to an army 
of twenty or thirty thousand men, than to command one of five or six." — A Voice from St 
Helena. £. 


'((einler-quarters, which the array stood so much in need of, were assigned to 
'it, and part of the cantonmenta were established around Breda, for the pur- 
pose of forming the blockade of that place, which, with Grave, still held out, 
but the interruption of the communications dunng the winter could not fail to 
oblige them to surrender. 

It was . in this position that the army expected to await the end of the 
season : and most assuredly it had done enough to make it proud of its glory 
and its services. But an almost miraculous chance reserved for it new desti- 
nies. The cold had already begun to be very severe ; it soon increased to 
such a degree as to encourage a hope that the great rivers would be frozen 
over. Pichegru left Brussels, without waiting to complete his cure, that he 
might be ready to seize the first opportunity for new conquests, should it be 
offered him by the season. The frost became more and more intense, and 
the winter exceeded in severity any that had preceded it for several years. 
The Meuse and the Wahl were ahready covered with floating ice, and the 
ice was set along their banks. 

On the 3d of Nivose (December 23) the Meuse was entirely frozen, and 
hard enough to bear cannon. General Walmoden, to whom the Duke of 
York had left the command on setting out for England, and whom he had 
thus doomed to experience nothing but disasters, found himself in the most 
difficult position. The Meuse being taken, his front would be uncovered; 
and the floating ice upon the Wahl even threatening to carry away all the 
bridges, his retreat would be endangered. He soon learned that tlie bridge 
of Arnheim had been actually carried away ; he then ordered his baggage 
and his heavy cavalry to file oflf on the rear, and himself retreated upon De- 
venter, towards the banks of the Yssel. Pichegru, profiting by the occasion 
which fortune ofiered to surmount obstacles usually invincible, prepared to 
cross the Meuse on the ice. He made arrangements for passing at three 
points, and for seizing the isle of Bommel, while the division blockading 
Breda was to attack the lines which surrounded that place. Those brave 
Frenchmen, exposed almost without clothes to the severest winter for a cen- 
tury past, marching in shoes of which nothing but the upper leather was left, 
immediately quitted their quarters, and cheerfully renounced the rest which 
they had begun to enjoy. 

On the 8th of Nivose (December 28), in a cold of 17°, they presented 
themselves at three points, at Crevecoeur, Empel, and Fort St. Andre. They 
crossed the ice with their artillery, surprised die Dutch, almost stiffened with 
cold, and completely defeated them. While they were making themselves 
masters of the isle of Bommel, that division of their force which was be- 
sieging Breda, attacked its line and carried them. The Dutch, assailed on, 
all points, retired in disorder, some towards the head-quarters of the Prince 
of Orange, who was still at Gorcum, the others to Thiel. In the confusion 
of their retreat they did not think of defending the passes of the Wahl, which 
was not entirely frozen. Pichegru, master of the isle of Bommel, into which 
he had penetrated by passing over the frozen Meuse, crossed the Wahl at 
different points, but durst not venture beyond the river, the ice not being 
strong enough to bear cannon. Irl this situation, the state of Holland would 
be desperate if the frost continued, and there was every appearance that it 
would continue. The Prince of Orange, with liis Dutchmen disheartened at 
Gorcum, Walmoden with his English in full retreat upon Deventer, could 
not make head against a formidable conquerer, who was far superior to tlieni 
in strength, and who had just broken the centre of their line. Their political 
was not less alarming than their military situation. The Dutch, full of hope 


and joy on seeing the French approach, began to stir. The Orange party 
was far too weak to overawe the republican party. The enemies of the 
stadtholder's authority reproached it with having suppressed the liberties of 
the country, imprisoned or banished the best or the most generous patriots, 
and, above all, with having sacrificed Holland to England, by forcing her 
into an alliance contrary to all her interests commercial and naval. They 
met secretly in revolutionary committees, ready at the first signal to rise, to 
turn out the authorities, and to appoint others. The province of Friesland, 
whose states were assembled, ventured to declare that it was determined to 
separate itself from the stadtholder. The citizens of Amsterdam presented a 
petition to the authorities of the province, in which they declared that they 
were ready to oppose any preparation for defence, and that they would not 
at any rate suffer the dykes to be cut. 

In this desperate situation the stadtholder thought of negotiating, and sent 
envoys to Pichegru's head-quarters to demand a truce, and to offer, as con- 
ditions of peace, neutrality and an indemnification for the expenses of the 
war. The French general and the representatives refused the truce ; and as 
for the offers of peace, they referred them immediately to the committee of 
public welfare. 

Spain, threatened by Dugommier, whom we left descending from the 
Pyrenees, and by Moncey,* who, master of Guipuscoa, was advancing upon 
Pampeluna, had already made proposals of accommodation. The representa- 
tives sent into La Vendee, to inquire if a pacification were possible, had re- 
plied affirmatively, and recommended a decree of amnesty. How secret 
soever a government may be, negotiations of this kind are sure to transpire ; 
they transpire even with absolute irremoveable ministers ; how then should 
they continue secret with committees renewable by one-fourth every month ? 
It was publicly known that Holland and Spain had made proposals ; it was 
added that Prussia, sensible of her illusions, and acknowledging the fault 
which she had committed in allying herself with the house of Austria, had 
applied to treat ; it was known from all the newspapers of Europe that 
several states of tfie Empire, weary of a war which concerned them but little, 
had at the diet of Ratisbon insisted on the opening of a negotiation. Thus 
every thing disposed people's minds to peace, and, in the same manner as 
they had gone over from the ideas of revolutionary terror to those of clemency, 
they now passed from ideas of war to those of a general reconciliation with 
Europe. . They seized the slightest circumstances to found conjectures on 
them. The unfortunate children *of Louis XVI., deprived of all their rela- 

* " Bon-Adrien-Jeannot Moncey was bom in 1754. His father was an advocate, and be 
was intended for the same profession, but he took an in\-incible repugnance to it, and entered 
the army as a private soldier. In 1 790, nt the age of thirty-six, he was but a sub-lieutenant 
of dragoons. Soon afterwards, however, he was draughted into u battalion of light infantry, 
and thenceforward his promotion was rapid. In the course of the ensuing two years, he had 
risen to be general of division, and received the command of the eleventh military division at 
Bayonnc. On the formation of the consular government Moncey took part in the war of 
Italy, and was present at the famous battle of Marengo. In the year 1804 he became 
marshal of the empire, and subsequently Duke of Conegliano. In 1808 he was engaged in 
the Spanish campaigns, but his operations were by no means brilliant. He was also preaeat 
in the Hussian expedition, and in the subsequent struggles in Germany. When Napoleen 
abdicated, Moncey sent in his adhesion to the royal government ; he refused however to pre- 
aide on the trial of Marshal Ney, for which he was degraded from his honours and confined. 
In 1823, he accompanied the Duke d'Angoulcme in his invasion of Spain. Moncey w«« 
humane by nature, honourable in conduct, and a cautious, rather than a bold, general."- 
Court ond Camp of Bonaparte. £. 



tives, and separated from one another in the prison of the Temple, had seen 
tlieir situation somewhat ameliorated since the 9th of Thermidor. Simon, 
the shoemaker, to whose care tlie young prince was committed, had perished 
as an accomplice of Robespierre's. Three keepers were appointed in his 
stead, each of whom officiated in turn for a day, and who treated the young 
prince with more humanity. From these changes made at the Temple im- 
portant inferences were drawn. The plan under consideration for withdraw- 
ing the assignats also furnished occasion for abundance of conjectures. The 
royalists, who began already to show themselves, and whose number was 
increased by those waverers who are always ready to forsake a party which 
begins to grow weak, said maliciously that tlie government was going to 
make peace. As they could no longer say to tlie republicans, " Your armies 
will be beaten," — which had been too frequendy repeated without success, 
and wliich would now have appeared too silly — they said, " Their career of 
victory is cut short ; peace is signed ; you will not have the Rhine ; the 
condition of peace will be the restoration of Louis XVII. to the throne, the 
return of the emigrants, the abolition of assignats, and the restitution of tlie 
national property." It is easy to conceive how such rumours must have 
irritated the patriots. Alarmed already at the proceedings directed against 
them, they saw with despair the end which they had been pursuing with such 
toil compromised, by tlie government. " What do you mean to make of 
young Capet?" said they. " What are you going to do with the assignats ? 
Shall our armies have shed so much of their blood to be stopped in the 
midst of their victories? Shall they not enjoy tlie satisfaction of giving to 
their country the line of the Rhine and the Alps ? Europe meant to dis- 
member France ; the just reprisals of victorious France upon Europe ought 
to be, to conquer the provinces wanting to complete her territory. What is 
to be done for La Vendue ? Are rebels to be pardoned when ^ey sacrifice 
patriots?" "Better were it," exclaimed a deputy of the Mountain, in 
a transport of indignation, " to be Charette than a member of the Con- 
venUon !" 

It may easily be conceived how much these subjects of division, added to 
those already furnished by domestic policy, must have agitated men's minds. 
The committee of public welfare, finding itself pressed between the two par- 
ties, deemed it incumbent on it to explain. It declared, therefore, on two 
different occasions, first through Carnot, secondly through Merlin of Douai, 
that the armies had received orders to prosecute their triumphs, and not to 
listen to any proposals of peace but in the heart of the enemy's capitals. 

The proposals of Holland appeared to it in fact to come too late to be 
accepted, and it did not think it right to consent to negotiate when on the 
point of becoming master of the country. To overtlirow the power of fixe 
stadtholder, and to restore the Dutch republic, seemed to it to be worthy of 
the French republic. It ran the risk, it is true, of seeing all the colonies of 
Holland, and even part of her navy, fall a prey to the English, who would 
declare that they took possession of them in the name of the stadtholder : 
but political considerations of course gained the ascendency.* France could 

* " The invasion of Holland was an object of universal expectation in Europe. The 
force under the command of General Pichegru, who was placed at the head of thi< great 
expedition, amounted to not less than 200,000 men. His ability, and those of the officers 
who lenred under him, annexed a security to the enterprise, which equally elated the French 
and depressed their enemies. The strength which was to oppose this vast and victorious 
army consisted of the remains of the British troops, and those in their pay, and of the Dutch 
troops. But their numbers were beneath oonsideration, when compared to the multitude 
of their eneoiies." — Annual Register. E. 



not avoid overthrowirfg the stadtholdership ; the conquest of Holland wonid 
enhance the marvellousness of her victories, intimidate Europe more, com- 
promise especially the flanks of Prussia, oblige that power to treat immedi- 
ately, and, above all, give confidence to the French patriots. In consequence, 
Pichegru was ordered not to stop. Prussia and the Empire had not yet 
made any overture, and there was no answer to give to tl^m. As for Spain, 
who promised to acknowledge the republic and to pay its indemnities, on 
condition of its erecting a little state near the Pyrenees for Louis XVII., her 
proposals were received with scorn and indignation, and orders were issued 
to the French generals to lose no time in advancing. As for La Vendee, a 
decree of amnesty was passed. It purported that all the rebels, without 
distinction of rank, who should lay down their arms within the space of one 
month, should be exempted from all punishment for their insurrection. 

General Canclaux, removed on account of his moderation, was replaced 
at the head of the army of the AVest, which comprised La Vendee. Young 
Hoche, who had already the command of the army of the Coasts of Brest, 
had that of the array of the Coasts of Cherbourg annexed to it; none were 
more capable than these two generals, to pacify the country by tempering 
prudence with energy. 

Pichegru, who had received orders to prosecute his victorious career, 
waited till the surface of the Wahl should be entirely frozon. Our army 
skirted the river; it was spread upon its banks towards Millingen, Nume- 
guen, and all along the isle of Bommel, of which it had gained possession 
by crossing the frozen Meuse. W^almoden, observing that Pichegru had 
left but a few advanced posts on the right bank towards Bommel, drove them 
back, and began an offensive movement. He proposed to the Prince of 
Orange to join them, in order to form with their united armies an imposing 
mass, capable of stopping by a batde an enemy who could no longer be 
stopped by the line of the rivers. The Prince of Orange could not be pre- 
vailed upon to quit Gorcum, lest the road to Amsterdam should be left unco- 
vered. Walmoden then resolved to place himself on his line of retreat, 
which he liad traced beforehand from the Wahl to the Linge, from the Linge 
to the Leek, and from the Leek to the Yssel, through Thiel, Amheim, and 

While the republicans were waiting with the utmost impatience for the 
freezing of the river, the fortress of Grave, defended with heroic courage by 
Debons, the commandant, surrendered when nearly reduced to ashes. It 
was the principal of the fortresses which the Dutch possessed beyond the 
Meuse, and the only one that had not yielded to the ascendency of our arms. 
The French entered it on the 9th of Nivose (December 29). At length, on 
the 19th of Nivose (January 8, 1795), the Wahl was solidly frozen. Son- 
ham's division crossed it near Bommel; Dewinther's brigade, detached from 
Macdonald's corps, crossed near Thiel. At Nimeguen and above, the pas- 
sage was not so easy, because tlie Wahl was not entirely frozen. Never- 
theless, on the 21st (January 10) the right of the French crossed it above 
Nimeguen, and Macdonald, supported by it, passed over at Nimeguen itself 
in boats. On perceiving this general movement, Walmoden's army retired. 
A battle alone could have saved it ; but, in the state of division and discou- 
ragement that prevailed among the allies, a battle would probably have let! to 
disastrous consequences. Walmoden executed a change from front to rear, 
proceeding upon the line of the Yssel, in order to reach Hanover by the pro- 
vinces of the main land. Conformably with tlie plan of retreat which he 
had laid down for himself, he thus abandoned the provinces of Utrecht and 


Guelders to the French. The Prince of Orange remained near the sea, 
namely, at Gorcum. Having no longer any liope, he left his army, repaired 
to the States assembled at the Hague, declared to them that he had done all 
in his power for the defence of the country, and that nothing more could be 
done. He exhorted the representatives not to make any further resistance 
to the conqueror, lest it might produce disastrous consequences. 

From that moment, the victorious French had only to spread like a torrent 
over all Holland. On the 28th of Nivose (January 17) Salm's brigade 
entered Utrecht, and General Vandamme* arrived at Arnheim. The States 
of Holland decided tliat no further resistance should be made to them, and 
that commissioners should be sent to open for them such places as they 
deemed necessary for their security. In all parts, the secret committees 
which had been formed manifested their existence, drove out the established 
authorities, and spontaneously appointed new ones. The French were 
received with open arms and as deliverers. Such provisions and clothing as 
they needed were carried to them. In Amstersdam, which they had not 
yet entered and where tliey were impatienUy expected, the greatest agitation 
prevailed. The citizens, exasperated against the Orangists, insisted that the 
garrison should leave the city, that the regency should resign its authority, 
and that the inhabitants should have their arms restored to Uiem. Pichegru, 
who was approaching, sent an aid-de-camp to exhort the municipal authori- 
ties to preserve peace and prevent disorder. On the 1st of Pluviose (Janu- 
sgry 20) Pichegru, accompanied by the representatives Lacoste, Bellegarde, 
and Joubert, made his entry into Amsterdam. The inhabitants hast- 
ened forth to meet him, carrying in triumph the persecuted deputies, and 
shouting. The French republic for ever! Pichegru for ever! Liberty 
for ever !f They admired those brave men, who, though half-naked, had 
defied such a winter and won such victories. The French soldiers furnished 
on this occasion a most praiseworthy example of order and discipline. Des- 
titute of provisions and clothing, exposed to frost and snow, in the heart of 
one of the wealthiest capitals of Europe, they waited for several hours around 
their piled arms, till the magistrates had provided for their wants and as- 
signed them quarters. As the republicans entered on one side, the Orangists 
and French emigrants fled on the other. The sea was covered with vessels, 
laden with fugitives and with property of every kind. 

On the same day, the 1st of Pluviose, Bonnard's division, which had the 
day before taken possession of Gertruydenberg, crossed the frozen Biesbos, 

• " Vandamme was one of the bravest men in the world, but fiery and passionate. A 
nobler figure than he possessed, cannot well be imagined. He had a finely-formed head, 
regular features, beautiful curly hair, glistening eyes which, when *ngry, seemed to flash fire, 
and an exquisitely turned hand." — Duchess (TAbranUs. £. 

" The Emperor related the following anecdote, as highly characteristic of General Van- 
ilamme : When made prisoner by the Russians, he was brought before the Emperor Alex- 
ander, who reproached him in bitter terms with being a robber, a plunderer, and a mur- 
derer ; adding that no favour could be granted to such an execrable character. This was 
followed by an order that he should be sent to Siberia, while the other prisoners were sent 
to a much less northern destination. Vandamme replied with great sang froid : ,' It may 
be. Sire, that I am a robber and a plunderer ; but at least I have not to reproach myself with 
having soiled my hands with the blood of a father.'" — A Voice from St. Helena. E. 

f " A neutral party subsisted in Holland which, without inclining to the stadtholdcr or to 
his enemies, were decidedly adverse to the entrance of the French. But their remonstrances 
on the neeearity of a reunion of all parties against a foreign invasion were lost in the fixed 
determination of -those in authority to trust none bu^ their adherents, and in the not less ob> 
atinate resolution of their antagonists to destroy their authority throu;{h the assistance of the 
French, whom they welcomed with enthusiasm as liberators!" — Annual Roister. E. 



and entered the town of Dordrecht, where six hundred pieces of cannon, ten 
thousand muskets, and magazines of provisions and ammunition for an army 
of thirty thousand men were found. This division then passed through Rot- 
terdam, on its way to the Hague, where the States were sitting. Thus the 
right about the Yssel, the centre about Amsterdam, and the left about the 
Hague, successively took possession of all the provinces. The marvellous 
itself became already associated with tlie extraordinary operations of the war. 
Part of the Dutch fleet was at anchor near the Texel. Pichegru, unwilling 
to give it time to get clear of the ice and to sail for England, sent some divi- 
Visions of cavalry and several batteries of light artillery towards North Hol- 
land. The Zuider Zee was frozen ; our squadrons galloped across those 
plains of ice, and our hussars and horse artillery summoned the ships, im- 
moveably fixed, as they would have done a fortress. The Dutch ships sur- 
rendered to these strange assailants. 

On the left there was nothing to gain possession of but the province of 
Zealand, which is composed of the islands situated at the mouth of tlie 
Scheldt and the Meuse ; and on the right the provinces of Overyssel, 
Drenthe, Friesland, and Griiningen, which join Holland to Hanover, The 
province of Zealand, strong in its inaccessible position, proposed a rather 
lofty capitulation, in which it insisted on not admitting garrisons into its 
principal towns, on not being subject to contributions, on not receiving assig- 
nats, on retaining its shipping and its property, public and private, in short, 
on being exempt from all the inconveniences of war. It demanded also that 
the French emigrants should be allowed to retire safe and sound. The repre- 
sentatives accepted some of the articles of the capitulation, but entered into 
no engagement respecting others, saying that they must refer them to the 
committee of public welfare, and, without further explanation tliey entered 
the province, glad to avoid the dangers of an attack by main force, and to 
preserve the squadron which might have been delivered up to England. 
During these occurrences on the left, the right crossing the Yssel drove the 
English before it, and forced them to retreat beyond the Ems. The pro- 
vinces of Friesland, Drentlie, and Grihiingen were thus conquered, and the 
Seven United Provinces were subdued by the victorious arms of the 

This conquest, Which was attributable to the season, to the admirable per- 
severance of our soldiers, and to their happy disposition for withstanding 
all hardships, much more tlian to the abilities of our generals, excited aa 
astonishment in Europe mingled with terror, and in France unbounded 
enthusiasm. Carnot, having directed the operations of the armies during 
the campaign of the Netherlands, which had carried tliem to the banks 
of the Rhine, was the first and the real author of their successes. Pichegru, 
and still more Jourdan, had efl*ectively seconded him during tliat sanguinary 
series of actions. But, since the army had proceeded from Belgium into 
Holland, everything was due to the soldiers and the season. Neverthe- 
less, Pichegru, as conunander-in-chief of tltat army, reaped all the glory 
of that -wonderful conquest ; and his name, borne on tlie wings of fame, 
circulated throughout all Europe as that of the most eminent general of 
France. ^ 

It was not enough to have conquered Holland ; it behoved the French to 
conduct themselves there with prudence and policy. • In the first place, it 
was of importance that they should not trample upon the country, lest they 
should alienate the inhabitants. In the next, they had to impart a political 
direction to Holland, and on this point they soon found themselves between 




two contrary opinions. Some were desirous that this conquest should be 
rendered serviceable to liberty by revolutionizing Holland; others wished 
that too strong a spirit of proselytism might not be displayed, lest it should 
again alarm Europe, which was on the point of reconciling herself with 

The first act of the representatives was to publish a proclamation, in which 
they declared that they would respect all private property, excepting how- 
ever that of the stadtliolder ; that, the latter being the only foe of the French 
republic, his property belonged to the conquerors as an indemnification for 
the expenses of the war; that the French entered as friends of the Batavian 
nation, not to impose upon it any religion or any form of government what- 
ever, but to deliver it from its oppressors, and to confer on it the means of 
expressing its wishes. This proclamation, followed up by corresponding 
acts, produced a most favourable impression. The authorities were every- 
where renewed under the French influence. Several members, who had 
been introduced into the States by the stadtholder's influence alone, were ex- 
cluded ; and the patriot, Peter Paulus, minister of marine before the over- 
throw of the republican party in 1787, a distinguished man, and strongly 
attached to his country, was chosen president. No sooner was this assembly 
complete than it abolished the s tad th eldership for ever, and proclaimed the 
sovereignty of the people. It waited on the representatives, to acquaint 
them with what it had done, and to pay them homage, as it were, by its re- 
solution. It then fell to work upon a constitution, and committed the afl^airs 
of the country to a provisional administration. Out of the eighty or ninety 
ships of war composing the military marine of Holland, fifty were left in the 
ports and preserved for the Batavian republic ; the others had been seized 
by the English. The Dutch army, dissolved since the departure of the 
Prince of Orange, was to be reorganized on a new footing, and under 
the command of General Daendels. As for the famous bank of Amsterdam, 
the mystery which enveloped its funds was at length dispelled. Had it con- 
tinued to be a bank of deposit, or had it become a discounting bank, by lend- 
ing to the India Company, or to the government, or to the provinces ? Such 
was the question which had long been asked, and which exceedingly dimi- 
nished the credit of that celebrated bank. It was ascertained jthat it had lent 
to the amount of eight or ten millions of florins on obligations of the India 
Company, tlie Chamber of Loans, the province of Friesland, and the city 
of Amsterdam. This was a violation of its statutes. It was alleged, how- 
ever, that there was no deficit, because these obligations represented certain 
amounts. But it was requisite that the Company, the Chamber of Loans, 
and the Government, should be able to pay, in order that the obligations ac- 
cepted by the bank should not give rise to a deficit. 

While the Dutch were thus turning their attention to the internal adminis- 
tration of their country, it was necessary to provide for the wants of the 
French army, which was destitute of everything. The representatives made 
a requisition to the provisional government for cloth, shoes, clothing of all 
kinds, provisions, and ammunition, which it promised to supply. This re- 
quisition, without being exorbitant, was sufficient to equip ana subsist the 
army. The Dutch government invited each town to furnish its share of this 
requisition, telling them very justly that they ought to lose no time in satis- 
fying a generous conqueror, who asked for, instead of taking, what he wanted, 
and who demanded no more than merely what his necessities required. The 
towns complied with the greatest cheerfulness, and the articles laid under 
requisition were duly supplied. An arrangement was then made for the oir- 

VOL. in. — 24 q, 2 


dilation of assignats. The soldiers received their pay in paper only,* and 
if they were to pay away all that they took, it was requisite that this paper 
should have the currency of money. The Dutch government came to a de- 
cision on this head. The shopkeepers and the petty dealers were obliged 
to take the assignats of the French soldiers at the rate of nine sous per franc ; 
they were not allowed to sell to the amount of more than ten francs to any 
one soldier; they were then, at the end of every week, to appear before the 
municipalities, who would withdraw the assignats at the rate at which they 
had taken them. Owing to these different arrangements, the army, which 
had so long suffered, found itself at length in abundance, and began to enjoy 
the fruits of its victories. 

Our triumphs, so surprising in Holland, were not less brilliant in Spain. 
There, thanks to the climate, the operations had not been discontinued. 
Dugommier, quitting the high Pyrenees, had advanced to the enemy's line, 
and attacked on three points the long chain of positions taken by General 
La Union. The brave Dugommier had been killed by a cannon-ball in the 
attack of the centre. The left had not been successful, but his right, owing 
to the intrepidity and energy of Augereau,t had been completely victorious. 
The command had been given to Perignon, who had recommenced the 

* "The soldiers being stilt paid in assignats which passed only for one-fifteenth of their 
real value, the pay of an officer was only equal in real value to three francs, or half-a-crown 
a month. In 1795, one-third wa^i paid in specie, which raised the income of a captain to 
seventy francs, or thred pounds sterling a month." — Jomini. E. 

■\ " Pierre-Fran^ois-Charles Augereau, the son of a poor fruiterer is one of the fauxbourgs 
in Paris, was born in 1 757. At an early age he entered the Neapolitan service, but in 
1787 was still only a private soldier. Seeing little prospect of advancement, he quitted the 
army in disgust and settled at Naples, where he taught fencing. In 1792, however, he 
returned to France, and became a volunteer in the republican army of the South. Owing 
to his daring intrepidity, his promotion was rapid beyond all precedent. In 1794 he was 
brigadier-general, and two years later, general of division. In the year 1796 he joined the 
army of Italy, and fought at Lodi and Castiglione, from which place he aAerwards derived 
his ducal title. In this campaign, Augereau, who was as avaricious as he was cruel, timiiwnd 
immense wealth. In 1799 he warmly espoused Bonaparte's cause, and on the establiahnMat 
of the empire was created marshal, and Duke of Castiglione. In 1806 he distinguished 
himself greatly at the battle of Jena, and, afler the Russian expedition, still more so in the 
campaigns in Germany. He was one of the first to give in his adhesion to Louis XVIII., 
for which he was presented with the cross of St. Louis, and created a peer of France. Oa 
Napoleon's return from Elba, however, he again offered his services to the Emperor, who 
repulsed him as a traitor, and, being neglected also by the Bourbons shortly after, he retired 
to his country-seat, where he died in 1816." — Court mid Camp of Bonaparte. E. 

"Augereau was a cross-gained character ; he seemed to be tried and disheartened by vic- 
tory, of which he always had enough. His person, his manners, and his language, gave 
him the air of a braggadocio, which however he was far from being. "-^La» Cases. E. 

"Augereau was a man wholly destitute of religious feeling. When Napoleon re-established 
religious worship in France, be insisted on all his ministers and generals attending a solemn 
Te Deum, which was chanted at the cathedral of Notre Dame. Go their way from the 
Tuileries thither, Lannes and Augereau wanted to alight from the carriage aa soon as they 
saw that they were being driven to mass, and it required an order from the First Consul to 
prevent their doing so. They went, therefore, to Notre Dame, where Augereau kept swear- 
ing, in no low whisper, during the whole of the chanted mass. The next day, Bonaparte 
asked him what he thought of the ceremony. ' Ob, it was all very fine,' replied the general ; 
'there wjs nothing wanting but the million of men who have perished in the pulling dowa 
of what you are now aeldng up." — Bourrirune. E. 

"Augereau waa one who might posMcss that daring spirit which hurries along thousands 
of soldiers in its train ; but for directing a political movement, or organizing the simplest 
machination, he was a mere cipher. Not only was he a mere soldier, but his manners were 
these of a soldier ; everything about him betrayed the uneducated man. His vanitj was, 
IMfwrtfaeiess, inordinate," — Dutchess (TAbrantes. E. 




attack on the 30th of Brumaire (November 20) and gained a signal victory. 
The enemy had fled in disorder, and left us the intrenched camp of Figueras. 
A panic seizing the Spaniards, the commandant of Figueras had opened the 
gates to us on the 9th of Frimaire, and we had thus entered one of the 
strongest fortresses in Europe. Such was our position in Catalonia. To- 
wards the western Pyrenees, we had taken Fontarabia, St. Sebastian, and 
Tolosa, and occupied the whole province of Guipuscoa. Moncey, who had 
succeeded General MuUer, had crossed the mountains and advanced to the 
gates of Pampeluna. Considering however his position too hazardous, he 
had fallen back, and, supported upon safer positions, he awaited the return 
of the favourable season for penetrating into the Castilles. 

Winter, therefore, had not been able to stop the course of that memorable 
campaign, and it had just closed in the middle of the season of frost and 
snow, in Pluviose, that is, in January and February. If the glorious cam- 
paign of 1793 had saved us from invasion by raising the blockade of Dun- 
kirk, Maubeuge and Landau, that of 1794 had just opened to us the career 
of conquest by giving us Belgium, Holland, the country comprised between 
the Meuse and the Rhine, the Palatinate, the line of the high Alps, the line 
of the Pyrenees, and several fortresses in Catalonia and Biscay. We shall 
presently see stiU greater wonders ; but these two campaigns will remain in 
history as the most national, the most legitimate, and the most honourable 
for France. 

The coalition could not withstand so many rude shocks. The English 
cabinet, which had lost only the states of its allies through the blunders of 
the Duke of York, which had gained forty or fifty ships of war, upon pretext 
of restoring them to the stadtholder, and which was about to seize the Dutch 
colonies upon the same pretext — the English cabinet was in no hurry to put 
an end to the war ; it was apprehensive, on the contrary, lest it should be 
terminated by the dissolution of the coalition : but Prussia, which perceived 
the French on the banks of the Rhine and the Ems, and saw the torrent 
ready to burst upon her, no longer hesitated. She immediately sent a com- 
missioner to Pichegru's head-quarters to stipulate for a truce, and to promise 
to open forthwith negotiations for peace. The place chosen for these nego- 
tiations was Basle, where the French government had an agent, who had 
acquired high consideration among the Swiss by his abilities and his mode- 
ration. The pretext for selecting this place was that they might there treat 
with more secrecy and quiet than in Paris itself, where too many passions 
were still in agitation, and where a multitude of foreign intrigues were cross- • 
ing one another. But that was not the real motive. While making over- 
tures of peace to that republic, whose enemies had fully expected to annihi- 
late it by a single military march, they wished to cloak the acknowledgment 
of their defeat, and it was less galling to them to go to a neutral country in 
quest of peace than to seek it in Paris. The committee of public welfare, 
less haughty than its predecessor, and feeling the necessity of detaching 
Prussia from the coalition, consented to invest its agent at Basle with suffi- 
cient powers for treating. Prussia sent Baron de Goltz, and the powers 
were exchanged at Basle on the 3d of Pluviose, year III (January 22, 1795). 

The Empire was quite as much inclined to withdraw from the coalition 
as Prussia. Most of its members, incapable of furnishing the quintuple con- 
tingent and the subsides voted under the influence of Austria, had suflered 
themselves, during the whole campaign, to be urged to no purpose to keep 
their engagements. Excepting Uiose whose territories lay lieyond the 
Rhine, and who clearly saw that the repnblic would not restore them unless 


it were forced to do so, all were desirous of peace. Bavaria, Denmark, for 
the Duchy of Ilolstein, the Elector of Mayence, and several states, had de- 
clared that it was high time to put an end by an acceptable peace to a ruinous 
war ; that the Germanic empire had had no other aim than the maintenance 
of the stipulations of 1648, and had taken up arms only in behalf of such of 
its states as bordered on Alsace and Lorraine ; that it was thinking of its 
preservation, not of ita aggrandizement; that it never had been, and never 
could be, its intention to interfere in the internal government of France} 
that this pacific declaration must be made sooner or later, to put an end to 
the evils which afflicted humanity ; and that Sweden, the guarantee of tlie 
stipulation of 1648, and which had fortunately remained neutral amidst this 
general war, could undertake the office of mediatrix. The majority of the 
votes had acceded to this proposal. The Elector of Treves, stripped of his 
dominions, and the Imperial envoy for Bohemia and Austria, had alone de- 
clared that it was certainly right to seek for peace, but that it was scarcely 
possible with a country without government. At length, on the 25th of 
December, the diet had publislied a conclusum tending to peace, leaving it 
to be afterwards decided by whom the proposal should be made. The sub- 
stance of the conclusum was that, while making preparations for a new cam- 
paign, the states ought nevertheless to make overtures for peace ; that no 
doubt France, touched by the sufferings of humanity, and convinced that 
there was no intention of interfering in her internal affairs, would consent to 
conditions honourable to both parties. 

Thus, whoever had committed faults thought of repairing them, if it were 
not yet too late. Austria, though faint from her efforts, had lost too much, 
in losing the Netherlands, to think of relinquishing arms. Spain had been 
inclined to lay down hers : but, again involved in English intrigues, and 
bound by false shame to the cause of the French emigration, she durst not 
yet demand peace. 

The same discouragement that seized the external enemies of the republic 
prevailed among its internal enemies also. The Vendeans, divided, ex- 
hausted, would not have been averse to peace, had it been discreetly proposed 
to them, and pains been taken to make them believe it to be sincere. The 
forces of Stolflet, Sapinaud, and Charette were extremely reduced. It was 
only by constraint that they could now make their peasants march.* These 
people, weary of carnage, and above all ruined by devastations, would have 
been glad to discontinue this horrid warfare. The only persons still entirely 
devoted to the chiefs were a few men of an absolutely military turn, smug- 
glers, deserters, and poachers, for whom fighting and plunder had become 
a want, and who could not settle down to agricultural labour. But these 
'were not numerous. They composed the picked band,which kept constanUy 
together, but were quite incapable of withstanding the efforts of the republi- 
cans. It was not win^iout the greatest difficulty that, on days when expe- 
ditions were to be undertaken, the peasants could be induced to leave their 
fields. Thus the three Vendean chiefs found themselves almost without 
forces Unfortunately for them, they were not even united among tliemselvcs. 

* " The inaurrection had now come to be entirely in the hands of Charette and Stofflet, 
who never in reality agreed. They were both deToured with jealousy and ambition. The 
war had no longer that character of union among the chiefk, and unirertal self-devotion, which 
distinguished the early days of La Vend-Jc. The peasants were disheartened, and severity 
was bc(^mc necessary to keep them to their duty, instead of those higher motives by which 
they were at f rst impelled. No great battles were fooght as formerly. It was now a war 
of ruffians carried on by treachery." — Memoirs of the Ahpxkionett de Larochejaquekitu B. 


We have seen that Stofflet, Sapinaud, and Charette, had entered at Jalais 
into a convention, which was but an adjournment of their rivalry. It was 
not long before SloHlet, at the instigation of the ambitions Abb^ Bernier, 
resolved to org-anize an army and a hnancial and administrative department, 
in short all that constitutes a regular power. To this end he also proposed 
to issue paper-money. Charette, jealous of Stofflet, opposed his designs. 
Seconded by Sapinaud, whom he influenced, he summoned Stoftlet to relin- 
quish his project, and to appear before the general council instituted by the 
convention of Jalais. Stofflet had refused to reply. On his refusal, Charette 
declared the convention of Jalais null and void. This was equivalent to 
stripping him of his command, for it was at Jalais that they had reciprocally 
acknowledged each other's titles. The rupture was therefore complete, and 
did not allow them to make amends by concord for their exhausted state. 
Notwithstanding the commission given to the royalist agents at Paris to 
open a correspondence with Charette and to transmit to him the letters of the 
regent, nothing had yet reached him. 

Scepeaux's division, between the Loire and the Vilaine, was in the same 
predicament. In Bretagne, it is true, there was less relaxation of energy : a 
Jong war had not exhausted the inhabitants. Chouannerie was a lucrative 
trade of plunder, which did not fatigue those who addicted themselves to 
it, and, besides, a single chief, a man of unequalled perseverance, was there 
to rekindle the nearly expiring ardour. But this chief, whom we have seen 
preparing to set out as soon as he should have completed the organization 
of Bretagne, had lately gone to London, for the purpose of entering into 
communication with the English cabinet and the French princes. Puisaye 
had left, to supply his place in the central committee, a Sieur Desotteux, who 
styled himself Baron de Cormatin in quality of major-general. The emi- 
grants, so numerous in the courts of Europe, were very rare in La Vendee, 
in Bretagne, and wherever this arduous civil war was waged. They affected 
supreme contempt for this kind of service, which they called chouanning 
{chouanner). For this reason there was a want of officers, and M. de Pui- 
saye had taken this adventurer, who had decorated himself with the tide of 
Baron de Cormatin, from a petty barony of that name in Burgundy, which 
had devolved to his wife by inheritance. He had been by turns a red-hot 
revolutionist, then an officer of Bouill^'s, afterwards a knight of the dagger, 
and lastly, he had emigrated, seeking everywhere a part to enact. He was 
like one possessed, talking and gesticulating with great vivacity, and liable 
to the most sudden changes. Such was the man, whom Puisaye, without 
knowing much about him, had left in Bretagne. 

Puisaye had organized a correspondence through the Channel Islands : 
but his absence was prolonged ; his letters frequently miscarried ; Cormatin 
was utterly incapable of supplying his place and reviving the courage of the 
people; the chiefs became impatient or disheartened, and they saw animosi- 
ties, calmed by the clemency of the Convention, subsiding around them, and 
the elements of civil war dissolving. The presence of such a general as 
Hoche was not likely to encourage them, and thus Bretagne, though -less 
exhausted than Lr Vendue, was quite as well disposed to accept a peace 
adroitly prepared. 

Canclaux and Hoche were both very capable of conducting such an afl^air 
with success. We have already witnessed the proceedings of Canclaux in 
the first war in La Vendue. He had left behind him in that country a high 
character for moderation and ability. The army placed under his command 
was considerably weakened by the continual reinforcements sent to the 


Pyrenees and to the Rhine, and, moreover, entirely disorganized by its long 
stay on the same spot. From the disorder incident to civil wars, insubordi* 
nation had gained ground, and hence pillage, debauchery, drunkemiess, and 
disease had ensued. This was the second relapse of that army since the 
commencement of this baneful war. Out of the forty-six thousand men who 
composed i^ fifteen or eighteen thousand were in the hospitals ; tlie remain- 
ing Uiirty thousand were badly armed, and half of them were guarding the 
fortresses : thus fifteen thousand at most were disposable. At his desire, 
twenty thousand men were given to him, fourteen thousand being taken from 
tlie Brest army, and six from that of Cherbourg. With this reinforcement 
he doubled all the posts, recovered the camp of Sorinieres near Nantes, 
recently taken by Charette, and proceeded in force towards the Layon, which 
formed Stofflet's defensive line in Upper Anjou. After he had taken this 
imposing attitude, he circulated abundandy the decrees and the proclamation 
of the Convention, and sent emissaries all over the country. 

Hoche, accustomed to conduct a war upon a large scale, and endowed witli 
superior qualities for carrying it on, found himself, to his extreme mortifica- 
tion, doomed to oppose a civil war, without generosity, without combinations, 
and without glory. He had at first solicited his dismissal ; but he presently 
made up his mind to serve his country in this disagreeable post, one too 
obscure for his talents. He was now to be rewarded for this resignation, by 
finding, on the very stage that he had wished to quit, occasion for displaying 
the qualities of a statesman as well as those of a general. His army was 
exceedingly weakened by the reinforcements sent to Canclaux: he had 
scarcely forty thousand ill-organized men to guard an intersected, mountain- 
ous, and woody country, and more than three hundred and fifty leagues of 
coast from Cherbourg to Brest. He was promised twelve thousand men 
which were to be drawn from the North. He asked more especially for 
well-disciplined men and he immediately set about weaning his troops from 
the habits contracted in the civil war. " We ought," said he, " to put at the 
head of our columns none but disciplined men, who can show as much 
moderation as valour, and be mediators as well as soldiers." He had trained 
them in a great number of small camps, and he recommended to them to go 
about in parties of forty or fifty, to endeavour to make themselves acquainted 
with the country, to accustom themselves to this war of surprises, to vie in 
stratagems with the Chouans, to converse with the peasants, to establish an 
intercourse with them, to gain their confidence, their friendship, nay even 
their assistance. " Never forget," he thus wrote to his officers, " that policy 
ought to have a great share in this war. Let us employ by turns humanity, 
virtue, integrity, energy, stratagem, and always the dignity that befits 
republicans." In a short time, he had given to that army a different a.spect 
and a different attitude : the order indispensable for pacification was restored. 
It was he who, mingling indulgence with severity in his treatment of the 
soldiers, used these charming expressions in writing to one of his lieutenants, 
who complained too bitterly of some drunken excesses : *' Why, my friend, 
if soldiers were philosophers, they would not fight. Let us, however, punisli 
drunkards, if dnmkenness causes them to neglect their duty." He had 
formed the most judicious notions of the country, and of the way to restore 

f)eace to it. " These peasants," he wrote, " must absolutely have priests ; 
et us leave them their priests, then, since they desire it. Many have suf- 
fered, and are sighing to return to an agricultural life ; let us afford them 
some assistance to repair their farms. As for those who have contracted the 
habit of war, it would be impossible to throw them back upon their country ; 


they would only disturb it by their indolence and their reBtlessness. They 
must be •formed into legions and enrolled in the armies of the republic. 
They will make excellent advanced guard soldiers ; and their hatred of the 
coalition, which has neglected to succour them, will guarantee their fidelity 
to us. Besides, what signifies the cause? it is war that they want. Recol- 
lect," he added, " the bands of Duguesclin going to dethrone Peter the Cruel, 
and the regiments raised by Villars in the Cevennes." Such was the young 
general called to give peace to those unfortunate countries. 

The decrees of the Convention, profusely circulated in La Vendee and in 
Bretagne, the release of the suspected persons, both at Nantes and atRennes, 
the pardon granted to Madame de Bonchamps, who had been saved from the 
decree of death issued against her, the cancelment of all unexecuted sen- 
tences, the free exercise of religion which had been granted, the prohibition 
to injure churches, the liberation of the priests, the punishment of Carrier 
and his accomplices, began to produce the effect expected from them in both 
countries, and disposed minds to profit by the amnesty offered alike to chiefs 
and soldiers.* Animosities subsided, and courage alongwith them. The 
representatives on mission at Nantes had interviews with the sister of Cha- 
rette, and transmitted to him, through her agency, the decree of the Conven- 
tion. He was at that moment reduced to extremity. Though endowed 
with unparalleled perseverance, he could not dispense with hope, and he saw 
not a ray of it. on any side. The court of Verona, where he excited such 
admiration, as we have already seen, nevertheless did nothing for him. The 
regent had, indeed, written him a letter, in which he appointed him lieu- 
tenant-general, and styled him the second founder of the monarchy. But 
this letter, which might at least have flattered his vanity, had been intrusted 
to the agents in Paris, and had not yet reached him. He had for the first 
time solicited succour from England, and sent his young aide-de-camp La 
Roberie to London ; but he had received no tidings from him. Thus he had 
not a word of reward or encouragement, either from the princes to whom he 
was devoting himself, or from the powers whose policy he was seconding. 
He consented, therefore, to an interview with Canclaux and the representa- 
tives of the people. 

At Rennes, also, the desired approximation was brought about by the sister 
of one of the chiefs. Botidoux, one of the principal Chouans of the Morbi- 
han, had learned that his sister, who was at Rennes, had been imprisoned on 
his account. He was prevailed upon to repair thither, in order to obtain her 
release. Boursault, the representative, gave up his sister to him, paid him 
all sorts of attentions, satisfied him respecting the intentions of the govern- 
ment, and convinced him of the sincerity of the decree of amnesty. Boti- 
doux promised to write to Bois-Hardi, an intrepid young Chouan, who 
commanded the division of the C6tes-du-Nord, and was reputed to be the 
most formidable of the insurgents. "What are your hopes!" he wrote to 
him. "The republican armies are masters of the Rhine. Prussia is solicit- 
ing peace. You cannot rely on the, promises of England ; you cannot rely 
upon the chiefs who write to you only from beyond sea, or who have for- 
saken you upon pretext of seeking succour for you ; henceforth you can but 
wage a war of assassination." Bois-Hardi, staggered by this letter, and 

• " At the Bugn^stion of Camot, the committee of public safety, weary of a contest appa- 
rently interminable, published a proclamation couched in terms of reconciliation and amity ; 
and, this having led to an address in similar terms from the royalist chiefs, conferences took 
place between the contending parties, and eventually a treaty waa concluded for the final paci- 
fication of the West of France,"— ^/!i#<m. E. 


unable to leave the Cdtes-du-Nord, where yet active hostilities required his 
presence, solicited the central committee to come to him, in order to answer 
Botidoux. The committee, at the head of which was Cormalin, as Puisaye's 
major-general, went to Bois-Hardi. There was in the republican army a 
young general, bold, braVe, possessing great natural talent, and especially 
that cunning peculiar to the profession which he had formerly followed— 
that of jockey. This was General Humbert. " He was one of those," 
said Puisaye, " who had triumphantly proved that a year's practice in war 
amply supplies the place of all the apprenticeships of the parade." He 
wrote a letter, the style and orthography of which were denounced to the 
committee of public welfare, but which was so effective as to touch Bois- 
Hardi and Cormatin. An interview took place. Bois-Hardi showed the 
easiness of a young and brave soldier, without animosity, fighting from natu- 
ral disposition rather than fanaticism. He entered, however, into no engage- 
ments, and left Cormatin to act. The latter, with his habitual inconsistency, 
highly flattered at being called to treat with the generals of the mighty 
French republic, acceded to all Humbert's overtures, and begged to be intro- 
duced to the generals, Hoche and Canclaux, and to the representatives. 
Interviews were agreed upon ; the day and the place were fixed. The 
central committee found fault with Cormatin for having gone too far. The 
latter, adding duplicity to inconsistency, assured the committee that he would 
not betray its cause ; that, in accepting an interview, he wished to have an 
opportunity of closely observing the common enemies, and judging of their 
forces and their dispositions. He laid particular stress upon two reasons, 
and, according to him, important ones : in the first place, he h»d never seen 
Charette, with whom no concert had ever taken place ; by desiring to see 
him, upon pretext of comprehending La Vendue as well as Bretagne in the 
negotiation, he might acquaint him with Puisaye's plans, and prevail upon 
him to concur in them : secondly, Puisaye, the playfellow in boyhood of 
Canclaux, had written him a letter capable of touching him, and containing 
the most splendid offers to gain him for the monarchy. Upon pretext of an 
interview, Cormatin would deliver the letter to him, and thus complete 
Puisaye's work. Affecting thus the part of a skilful diplomatist with his 
colleagues, Cormatin obtained their assent to his opening a feigned negotia- 
tion with the republicans, in order to concert with Charette and to win Can- 
claux. In this spirit he wrote to Puisaye, and set out with his head full of 
the most contrary ideas, sometimes proud of deceiving the republicans, of 
plotting before their faces, and of taking from them a general : at otliers, 
vain of being the mediator of the insurgents with the representatives of the 
republic, and ready, in this whirl of ideas, to become a dupe while intending 
to make dupes. He saw Hoche, first demanded a provisional truce, and 
then asked permission to visit all the Chouan chiefs, one after another, for 
the purpose of inspiring them with pacific sentiments, to see Canclaux, and 
especially Charette, in <5rder to concert with the latter, saying that the Bre- 
tons could not separate themselves from the Vendeans. Hoche and the 
representatives complied with his desire ; but they directed Humbert to 
accompany him, and to attend all the interviews. Cormatin, at the summit 
of his wishes, wrote to the central committee and to Puisaye, stating that 
his artifices were successful, that the republicans were his victims, that he 
was going to encourage the Chouans, to talk to Charette, to prevail on him 
merely to temporize till the grand expedition, and lastly, to gain over Can- 
claux. He accordingly set out on a tour tlirough Bretagne, calling every- 
where on the chiefs, and astonishing them by the language of peace, and by 


this singular truce. AU of them were not aware of the trick, and relaxed 
their eflorts. The cessation of hostilities produced an eager desire for rest 
and peace, and, without intending it, Cormatin promoted the pacification. 
He began himself to be inclined to it ; and, while he meant to dupe the 
republicans, it was the republicans who, without meaning to do so, made 
him their dupe. Meanwhile, the day and place for the interview with Cha- 
rette had l>een agreed upon. It was in the vicinity of Nantes. Cormatin 
was to repair tliither, and tliere the negotiations were to commence. Cor- 
matin, more and more embarrassed every day by the engagements which 
he was contracting with the republicans, began to write less frequently to 
the central committee, and the committee, observing the turn which things 
were taking, wrote to Puisaye in Nivose : "Lose no time in returning. The 
courage of our men is shaken ; the republicans are seducing the chiefs. You 
must come, if with only twelve thousand men, money, priests and emigrants. 
Be here before the end of January (Pluviose)." Thus, while the emigrants 
and the foreign powers were building all their hopes upon Charette and 
Bretagne, a negotiation was on the point of restoring peace to the two 
countries. In Pluviose (January and February), the republic was, there- 
fore, treating at Basle with one of the principal powers of the coalition, 
and at Nantes with the royalists, who had hitherto combated and miscon- 
ceived it. 



The Jacobins were dispersed, the principal agents or chiefs of the rero—" 
lutionary government under prosecution, Carrier put to death, several other- ' 
deputies called to account for their missions; lastly, Billaud-Varennes, Col- ' 
lot d'Herbois, Barrere, and Vadicr, were placed under accusation, and de-- 
stined to be soon brought to trial before the tribunal of their colleagues. But, 
while France was thus seeking to revenge herself on the men who had re- 
quired of her such painful efforts, and doomed her to a system of terror, she 
returned with passion to pleasure and to the enjoyments of the arts and of- ' 
civilization, of which those men had for a moment deprived her. We have 
already seen with what ardour people were preparing to launch into the,' 
amusements of the winter, with what new and singular taste the women 
strove to dress, how eagerly the concerts in the Rue Feydeau were attended. 
All the theatres were now opened again. The actors of the Comedie Fran- 
^aise were released from prison : Larive, St. Prix, Mol^, Dazincourt, St. 
Phal, and Mesdemoiselles Contat and Devienne, had again appeared on the. 

VOL. 111. — 25 R 


stage. The theatres became quite the rage. There all the passages in plays 
that could be applied to the Reign of Terror were applauded ; there the air 
of the Reveil du Peuple was sung; there the Marseillaise was proscribed. 
In the boxes appeared the beauties of the time ; the wives or friends of the 
Thermidorians ; in the pit, Frei*n's gilded youth seemed to spite, by its 
pleasures, its dress and its tastes, those coarse, sanguinary Terrorists who it 
was said had wanted to stifle all civilization. The balls were attended with 
the same eagerness. There was one, at which no person was present who 
had not lost relatives during the Revolution. It was called the ball of the 
victims. The public places devoted to the ar^ were again opened. The 
Convention ordered the formation of a museum, to contain not only the pic- 
tures previously possessed by France, but all those acquired by conquests. 
Those of the Flemish school taken in Belgium had been already removed 
thither. The Lyceum, where Laharpe had very recenUy celebrated philo- 
sophy and liberty in a red cap which had been shut up during the Reign of 
Terror, was just restored to the public, thanks to the bounty of the Conven- 
tion, which had taken upon itself part of the expense of the establishment, 
and distributed some hundreds of tickets among the young men of each sec- 
tion. There Laharpe* was again heard declaiming against anarchy, the sys- 
tem of terror, the corruption of the language, />/«7o«o/>/«s7», and all that he 
had formerly extolled, before that liberty which he celebrated, but with 
whidh he was unacquainted, had affrighted his little soul. The Convention 
had granted pensions to almost all the literary men and to all the men of sci- 
ence, without any distinction of opinion. It had just decreed the establish- 
ment of the primary schools, where the lower classes were to learn the 
elements of the spoken and written language, the rules of arithmetic, the 
principles of surveying, and some practical notions concerning the principal 
phenomena of nature ; the central schools destined for the higher classes 
where youth were to be taught the malhematics, natural philosophy, che- 
mistry, natural history, medical science, the mechanical arts, the arts of de- 
sign, the belles lettres, the ancient languages, tlie living languages most 
appropriate to the localities, general grammar, logic and analysis, history, 
political economy, the elements of legislation, all in the order best adapted 
to the development of the understanding; the normal school, where, under 
the most eminent literati and men of science, young professors were to be 

• " Jean Pranpois de Laharpe, a French dramatic poet, critic, and philosopher, was bom 
at Paris in 1739. Hia father, a swiss officer in the Frcnph service, dying in indigence, hi. 
was admitted into the collef!^ of Harcourt, where he received an excellent education. A 
lampoon, however, on one of hia benefactors, occasioned him a confinement of some months 
in the Bastille, when he threw himself on his talents as an author for support. In 1762 he 
published a collection of poems, and in the following year, the tragedy of Warwick, which 
was very successful at the time. On the breaking out of the Revolution, Laharpe embraced 
the principles of republicanism, but during the Reign of Terror, being suspected by the 
ruling powers, he was thrown into prison, but ultimately restored to liberty. The last ynars 
of his life were spent in literary retirement. He died in 1803, in his sixty-fourth year. Hie 
principal work is the *' Lyceum, or a Complete Course of Literature.' " — Encyeloftadia 
Americana. E. 

" At the beginning of the Revolution Laharpe adopted its principles, and went so far as 
to preach its maxims in his lessons at the Lyceum, where, in 1792, at the time of the great- 
est ferment, he declaimed a very vehement hymn to liberty, in which the following lines are 
particularly remarkable : ' The sword, my friends, the sword, it presses on carnage ! The 
sword, it drinks blood ; blood nourishes mi;e; rage inflicts death.' Another day Laharpe 
appeared in the same assembly with a red cap on his head, and cried out, ' This cap pene* 
trates and inflames my brain !' He soon afterwards lowered his tone, and becajoe lealous in 
defence of rational liberty and religion." — Bi'igraphie Modern*. E. 


trained, who were afterwards to spread throughout all France the instruction 
acquired by them at the focus of knowledge ; lastly, the special schools of 
medicine, jurisprudence, and the veterinary art. Besides this vast system 
of education, destined to diffuse and to propagate that civilization which the 
Revolution was so unjusUy accused of having banished, the Convention had 
added encouragements of all kinds. The establishment of various manufac- 
tures had just been ordered. To the Swiss expatriated on account of dis- 
turbances national domains at Besan^on were given, Jhat they might carry 
thither the manufactures of clocks and watches. The Convention had, 
moreover, demanded from its committees plans for canals, banks, and a sys- 
tem of advances to certain provinces ruined by the war. It had mitigated 
several laws likely to injure agriculture and commerce. A great number of 
farmers and labourers had quitted Alsace when it was evacuated by Wurm- 
ser, Lyons during the siege, and the whole South since the severities exer- 
cised against federalism. It distinguished them from the emigrants, and 
enacted a law by which labourers and artisans, who had left France since 
the 1st of May, 1793, and who were disposed to return before the Ist of 
Germinal, were not to be considered as emigrants. The law relative to sus- 
pected persons, the repeal of which had been demanded, was maintained ; 
but it was now formidable to the patriots only, who had become the sus- 
pected of the day. The revolutionary tribunal had been entirely re-formed, 
after the model of the ordinary criminal tribunals. There were judges, 
juries, and counsel. Judgment could no longer be given upon written docu- 
ments, or without the examination of witnesses. The law which allowed 
the tribunal to dispense with pleadings, and which had been passed against 
Danton, was repealed. The district administrations were to cease to be 
permanent, as well as the revolutionary committees, except in cities con- 
taining upwards of fifty thousand souls. Lastly, the important interests of 
religion were regidated by a new law. This law stated that, in virtue of the 
declaration of rights, all religions were free ; but it declared that the state 
would no longer pay any, or permit the public celebration of their worship. 
Each sect was at liberty to erect or to rent buildings, and to perform the 
ceremonies of its worship m tliose edifices. Lasdy, as a substitute for the 
ancient ceremonies of the Catholi» religion and those of Reason, the Con- 
vention formed a plan of decadary festivals. It had combined dancing, 
music, and moral exhortations, so as to render the diversions of the people 
profitable, and to produce upon their imagination impressions at once useful 
and agreeable. Thus relieved from the urgent necessity for defending itself, 
the Revolution threw off its violent forms, and reverted to its true mission, 
that of promoting the arts, industry, knowledge, and civilization. 

But, while cruel laws were thus disappearing, while the upper classes 
were recomposing themselves and indulging in pleasure, the lower were 
buffering severely from the effects of dearth and of a cold season scarcely 
ever known in our climate. This winter which enabled us to cross dry-shod 
over the rivers and arms of the sea in Holland, made us pay dearly for that 
conquest, by dooming the populace in the towns and in the country to 
grievous hardships. It was indisputably the severest winter of the century : 
it surpassed even that which preceded the opening of the States-general in 
1789. Provisions were scarce from various causes. The principal was 
the deficiency of the crops. Though they had afforded at first a very fair 
promise, yet the drought, and afterwards blights, had disappointed all ex- 
pectations. Thrashing had been neglected, as in the preceding years, either 
from want of hands, or the ill-will of the farmers. As the assignats were 


depreciating from day to day, and had lately fallen to one-tenth of their 
value, the maximum had become more oppressive, and the reluctance to 
obey it, and the efforts to evade it, were so much the greater. The farmers 
everywhere made false declarations, and were assisted in their lies by the 
municipalities, which, as we have seen, had lately been renewed. Being 
composed almost all of them of moderate men, they cheerfully seconded 
disobedience to the revolutionary laws ; in short, all the springs of authority 
were relaxed : the government having ceased to strike terror, the requisi- 
tions for the supply of the armies and of the great communes were no longer 
obeyed. Thus the extraordinary system of supplies, destined to make 
amends for the deficiencies of commerce, was disorganized long before com- 
merce had resumed its natural movement. The dearth was of course more 
severely felt in the great communes, the supply of which is always more 
difficult. Paris was threatened with a more distressing famine than any of 
those which had struck terror into it during the Revolution. With general 
causes were combined purely particular causes. By the suppression of the 
commune which had conspired against the Convention on the 9th of Ther- 
midor, the superintendence of the supply of Paris had been transferred from 
the commune to the commission of commerce and supplies. An interrup- 
tion in the services had been the consequence of this change. The orders 
had been given very late, and with a dangerous precipitation. The means 
of transport were wanting : all the horses, as we have seen, had perished, 
and, besides the difficulty of collecting sufficient quantities of corn, there 
was the further difficulty of conveying them to Paris. Dilatoriness, pillage 
by the way, all the usual accidents of dearth, thwarted the efforts of the com- 
mission. With the scarcity of provisions was combined the scarcity of 
wood for fuel and of charcoal. The canal of Briaire had been dry during 
the summer. Supplies of pitcoal had not yet arrived, and the forges had 
consumed all the charcoal. The felling of timber had been tardily ordered, 
and the people engaged in floating it down the rivers, who were annoyed 
by the local authorities, had been entirely discouraged. Charcoal and wood 
were therefore both scarce, and in that terrible winter the, dearth of fuel 
was almost as severely felt as that of corn. 

Thus a cruel infliction on the lower classes contrasted with the new plea- 
sures in which the higher orders indulged. The revolutionists, irritated 
against the government, followed the example of all vanquished parlies, and 
made use of the public calamities as so many arguments against those who 
were then at the head of the state.* They even contributed to aggravate 
those calamities by opposing the orders of the administration. " Do not 
send your corn to Paris," said they to the farmers ; " the govemmenf is 
counter-revolutionary ; it is bringing back the emigrants ; it will not put tlie 
constitution in force ; it leaves the corn to rot in the magazines of the com- 
mission of commerce ; it means to starve the people in order to oblige them i 
to throw themselves into the arms of royalty." By such language they pre- 
vailed on the owners of the corn to keep it. They left their communes and 
repaired to the great towns, where they were unknown, and out of the reach 
of those whom they had persecuted. There they excited disturbances. At 
Marseilles, they had just committed fresh violence upon the representatives, 

* " The season hat) been very unfavourable, and the scarcity of food was dreadfuL The 
people wanting; provisions, and not having the power even with the assignats of purchasing 
them, were reduced to the greatest distress ; they attributed it of course to the government, 
and called to mind, not without regret, that they had, not ong ago, both bread and power 
under the committee of public safety " — Mie^net E 


whom they forced to suspend the proceedings instituted against the men who 
were called tlie accomplices of terror. It had been deemed necessary to put 
the city in a state of siege. In Paris, where they were much more nume- 
rous, tiiey were also more turbulent. They harped perpetually upon the 
same subject, the distress of the people, and contrasted it with the luxury of 
the new leaders of the Convention. Madame Tallien was the woman of 
the day whom they accused, for at all periods there was one person whom 
the people accused : she was the perfidious enchantress whom they blamed, 
as Madame Roland had formerly been blamed, and before her time Marie 
Antoinette, for all the miseries of the people. Her name was several times 
pronounced in the Convention without appearing to gall Tallien. At last, 
he one day rose to reply to this abuse. He represented her as a model of 
attachment and courage, as one of the victims whom Robespierre had 
destined to the scaffold, and he declared that she had become his wife. Bar- 
ras, Legendre, and Freron, joined him. It was high time, they said, to 
speak out. They exchanged abuse with the Mountain, and the Convention 
was obliged, as usual, to put an end to the discussion by proceeding to the 
order of the day. On another occasion, Duhem told Clausel, the deputy, 
a member of the committee of general safety, that he would murder him. 
The tumult became tremendous, and the order of the day once more inter- 
fered to put an end to this new scene. 

The indefatigable Duhem discovered a publication entitled Lt Spectateur 
de la Revolution, containing a dialogue on the two governments monarchical 
and republican. This dialogue gave an evident preference to the monarch- 
ical government, and even exhorted the French people, in an undisguised 
manner, to revert to it. Duhem denounced this work with indignation, as 
one of the symptoms of the royalist conspiracy. The Convention, acknow- 
ledging the justice of this complaint, sent the author before the revolutionary 
tribunal ; but Duhem having gone so far as to say that royalism and aristo- 
cracy were triumphant, it sent him for three days to the Abbaye, as having 
insulted the assembly. These scenes had set all Paris in commotion. In 
these sections i^was proposed to prepare addresses on what had just haf>- 
pened, and violent contests ensued about drawing them up, each desiring 
that these addresses should be written agreeably to his own opinion. Never 
had the Revolution exhibited so tempestuous a scene. 

Formerly, the all-powerful Jacobins had met with no resistance capable 
of producing a real combat. Tliey had driven all before them and come off 
conquerors — noisy and furious, but sole conquerors. Now, a powerful 
party had just risen up, and though it was less violent, it made up by number 
what it wanted in violence, and could fight with an equal chance of success. 
Addresses were made in every variety of tone. Some Jacobins, who met ia 
coffee-houses near the populous quarters of St. Denis, the Temple, and St. 
Antoine, held the same language as they had been accustomed to do. They 
threatened to go and attack the new conspirators at the Palais Royal, in the 
theatres, and in the Convention itself. The young men, on their side, made 
a terrific noise in the pit of the theatres. They resolved upon an outrage 
which would be keenly felt by the Jacobins. The bust of Marat was iji all 
the public places and particularly in the theatres. At the Thefttre Feydeau 
some young men climbed up to the balcony, and mounting upon one ano- 
ther's shoulders threw down the bust of the saint, dashed it to pieces, and 
immediately set up that of Rousseau in its place. The police made vain 
efforts to prevent this disturbance. The act of the young men was univer- 
Bally applauded. Wreaths were thrown upon the stage to crown the bust 

R 2 


of Rousseau; verses written for the occasion were circulated; and there 
were shouts of " Down with the Terrorists ! down with Marat ! down with 
the sanguinary monster who demanded three hundred thousand heads ! The 
author of Emile, of the Contrai Social, of the Nouvelle Heloise, for ever !" 
No sooner had this example been set, than it was imitated on the following 
day at the other theatres, and at all the places of public resort. People ran 
to the markets, smeared the bust of Marat with blood, and then threw it into 
the mud, A number of boys, in the quarter of Montmartre, formed a pro-' 
cession, and, after carrying a bust of Marat to the brink of a sewer, tumbled 
it in. Public opinion was expressed with extreme violence. Dislike, even 
hatred of Marat, filled every heart, not excepting even those of most of the 
Mountaineers ; for none of them could follow in his eccentricities the ideas 
of this audacious maniac. But the name of Marat being consecrated, the 
dagger of Corday having gained him a kind of worship, people were as 
much afraid of touching his altars as those of liberty itself. We have seen 
that during the last sans-culottides, that is four months before, he had been 
introduced into the Pantheon in the place of Mirabeau. The committees, 
eagerly taking the hint, proposed to the Convention to decree that no indi- 
vidual should be deposited in the Pantheon till twenty years after his death, 
and that the bust or portrait of no citizen should be set up in the public 
places. It added that every decree to the contrary was repealed. In con- 
sequence, Marat, introduced into the Pantheon, was turned out again before 
the end of four months. Such is the instability of revolutions ! Immortality 
is decreed or taken away, and unpopularity threatens party leaders even after 
death ! From that moment commenced the long infamy which has covered 
Marat, and which he has shared with Robespierre. Both, formerly idolized 
by fanaticism, but now judged by affliction, were devoted to long-continued 

The Jacobins, incensed at this outrage offered to one of the most renowned 
characters of the Revolution, assembled at the fauxbourg St. Antoine, and 
swore to avenge the memory of Marat. They took his bust, carried it 
about in triumph in all the quarters under their sway, and, being armed 
exceedingly well, threatened to murder any one who should attempt to 
disturb this sinister solemnity. The young men had a great mind to fall 
upon this train. They encouraged one another to attack it, and a battle 
would infallibly have ensued, if the committees had not ordered the club of 
the Quinze-Vingts to be closed, forbidden proccessions of this kind, and 
dispersed the assemblages. In the sitting of the 20th of Nivose, the busts 
of Marat and Lepelletier were removed from the hall of the Convention,* 
as well as the two fine paintings in which David had represented them 
dying. The tribunes, which were divided, set up contrary cries : some 
applauded, while others raised tremendous murmurs. Among the latter 
were many of those women who were called the furies of tlie guillotine : 

* " Marat was now attacked in his turn. His bust was in the Convention, and in most 
of the popular assemblies. The gilded youths broke it to pieces at the Theatre Feydau, and 
the Mountain remonstrated, but without success. The commotion in the fauxbourgs be- 
came, consequently, considerable. There was also in front of the Invalids a mountain 
crowned with a colossal swtue of Hercules killing the Hydra. The section of the corn- 
market demanded of the Assembly that it should be pulled down. Some murmurs were 
heard from the left. * This giant,* said a member, ' is the image of the people.' — ' I see 
nothing but a mountain,' replied another ; ' and what is a mountain, if it be not a lasting 
protest against equality V These words were received with applause ; they were sufficient 
to procure the petition a favourable reception, and to overturn thU monument of the victory , 
and domination of a party." — Mignet. £. 


th6y were turned out. The Assembly applauded, and the Mountain, euUen 
and silent, on seeing those celebrated pictures taken down, fancied that it 
45aw the Revolution and the republic annihilated. 

The Convention had just deprived both parties of an occasion fdr quarrel ; 
but it had only deferred ilie struggle for a few days. The resentment was 
so keen, and the sijfferings of tlie people were so severe, that there was every 
reason to expect one of those violent scenes which had imbrued the Revolu- 
tion in blood. Amidst the uncertainty as to what was likely to happen, all 
the questions to which the commercial and financial situation of the country 
gave rise were discussed — unfortunate questions, which people took up 
afresh every moment, to treat and resolve them in a different manner, 
according to the changes which opinions had undergone. 

Two montlis before, the Convention had modified the maximum by 
rendering the price of corn variable according to the localities. It had modi- 
fied the requisitions by making them special, limited, and regular ; and it 
had adjourned tlie questions relative to the sequestration, the specie, and the 
assignats. Now, all respect for the revolutionary creations was gone. 
It was no longer a mere modification that was demanded, but the abolition 
of this system of coercion establislied during the Reign of Terror. The 
adversaries of this system adduced excellent reasons. Everything, tliey 
said, was not subject to a maximum ; the maximum was absurd and unjust. 
The farmer paying 30 francs for a coulter, for which he formerly paid 50 
sous, 700 francs for a servant, for whom he used to pay 100, and 10 francs 
-to a day-labourer, to whom he had given 50 sous, could not afford his pro- 
duce at the same price as formerly. As raw materials imported from abroad 
had recently been exempted from the maximum, in order to restore some 
activity to trade, it was absurd to subject them to it after they were wrought ; 
for eight or ten times less would then be paid for them than before. These 
examples were not the only ones. A thousand others of the same kind 
might be mentioned. As the maximum thus exposed the shopkeeper, the 
manufacturer, and the farmer, to inevitable losses, they never would submi* 
to it ; the former would voluntarily shut up their shops or their factories ; 
the latter would hide his corn or consume it in his own farm-yard, because 
he would find it more profitable to sell poultry and pigs when fattened upon 
it. At any rate, if it was desired that the markets should be supplied, it 
was requisite that the prices should be free ; for nobody would like to work 
for nothing. Besides, added the adversaries of the revolutionary system, 
the maximum had never been carried into execution ; those who wanted to 
buy made up their minds to pay according to the real price, and not accord- 
ing to the legal price. The whole question, therefore, was comprised in 
these words — to pay high or to have nothing. It would be vain to attempt 
to supply the lack of spontaneous activity in manufactures and commerce 
by requisitions, that is to say, by the action of the government. A trading 
government was a ridiculous monstrosity. Was it certain that that commis- 
sion of supplies, which had made such a noise about its operations, had 
imported any foreign com into France ? "What was there to feed France 
witli for five days ? It was necessary, therefore, to return to individual 
activity, that is, to free trade, and to rely only on herself. When the maxi- 
mum should be abolished, and the merchant could again lay on the price of 
freight and insurance, the interest of his capital, and his fair profit, he 
would ftnport commodities from all parts of the globe. The great com- 
munea/in particular, which were not provisioned, like Paris, at the cost of 


the state, could not have recourse to anything but commerce, and woald be 
famished unless its freedom were restored to it. 

These argunjents were just in principle. It was not the less true that the 
transition from a forced trade to a free trade was liable to prove dangerous 
in a great crisis like the present. Till the freedom of prices should have 
awakened individual industry, and supplied the markets, everything would 
be excessively dear. It would be a very transient inconvenience for ail 
commodities which were not of prime necessity ; it would be only an inter- 
ruption for a moment, till competition should reduce the prices ; but, for 
articles of consumption which did not admit of interruption, how was the' 
transition to take place ? Until the faculty of selling corn at a free price 
should have caused vessels to be despatched to the Crimea, to Poland, to 
Africa, and to America, and by the competition have obliged the farmers to 
part with their grain, how were the populace in the cities to subsist witliout 
maximum and without requisitions ? Would not bad bread, produced by 
the laborious efforts of the administration, with incredible pains and anxiety, 
be better than absolute want. Most certainly it would be well to get out of 
the forced system as soon as possible, but with great caution and without 
silly precipitation. 

As for the reproaches of M. Boissy-d'Anglas* to the commission of sup- 
plies, they were not less unjust than ridiculous. Its importations, he said, 
could not have fed France for five days. The accuracy of the calculation 
was at first denied ; but that was of little consequence. It is but a little of 
which a country is deficient, otherwise it would be impossible to supply that 
deficiency ; but was it not an immense service to have provided tliat little ? 
Who can form a conception of the distress of a country deprived of bread 
for five days ? Moreover, had this privation been equally divided, it would 
not have been mortal, but, while the country would have been glutted with 
corn, the great towns, and the capital, in particular, would have been desti- 
tute of it not for five days only, but for ten, twenty, fifty, and a convulsion 
would have ensued. Besides, the commission of commerce and supplies, 
under the direction of Lindet, had not merely imported articles of consump- 
tion from abroad, but transported the corn, forage, and merchandise which 
were in France, from the country to the frontiers or to the great communes; 
and commerce, affrighted by the war and political horrors, would never have 
done so spontaneously. It had been found necessary to make amends for 
this by the will of the government, and that energetic and extraordinary wiU 
was entided to the gratitude and the admiration of France, notwithstand- 
ing the outcry of those petty men, who, during the dangers of the country, 
could do nothing but hide themselves. . 

The question was carried by assault, as it were. The maximum and the 
requisitions of transport were abolished, as the seventy-three had been 
recalled, as Billaud, Collot, and Barrere had been denounced. Some relics 
of the system of requisitions were nevertheless suffered to subsist. Those 
which were imposed, in order to supply the great communes, were to be 
enforced for a month longer. Government retained the right of pre-emption, 
that is, the right to take articles of consumption by audiority on paying the 
market price for them. The famous commission lost part of its title ; it was 

* *< At this particular period, BoiMy-d'Anglas, who was at the head of a committee of sub- 
•istence for Rupplying the people with bread, was anything but popular. People Ix-gan to 
raspect him even of keeping back the mippliea of provisions, in order to make them despe- 
rate, and favour the royalist faction, with which be wu aecretl; connected." — Hazliit. £. 


no longer called commission of commerce and supplies, but merely commis- 
sion of supplies. Its five directors were reduced to three ; its ten thousand 
agents to a few hundred. The system of contracts was judiciously substi- 
tuted for that of administrative management ; and, by the way, Paclie was 
found fault with for his appointment of the committee of markets. The ex- 
pense of carriage was allowed to contractors. The manufacture of arms in 
Paris, which had rendered costly but important services, was discontinued, 
as it could tlien be without inconvenience. The fabrication of arms was 
again committed to contractors. The workmen, who clearly saw that tliey 
should be paid less wages, began to murmur : instigated by the Jacobins, 
tliey even tlireatened a commotion ; but they were quelled, and sent back to 
their communes. 

The question of the sequestration, previously adjourned, (because the go- 
vernment feared lest, in re-establishing the circulation of bills, it should fur- 
nish supplies to the emigrants, and cause jobbing in foreign paper to be 
renewed,) was again taken up, and this time resolved to the advantage of 
freedom of trade. The sequestration was taken off; the sequestrated bills 
were thus restored to the foreign merchants, at the risk of not obtaining the 
like restitution in favour of the French. Lasdy, the free circulation of specie 
was restored, after a warm debate. It had formerly been prohibited, to pre- 
vent emigrants from carrying specie out of France ; it was now permitted 
from the consideration that, as we lacked the means of return, Lyons being 
no longer able to furnish sixty millions' worth of manufactured goods, N'imes 
twenty, and Sedan ten, commerce would be impossible, unless purchases 
made abroad were allowed to be paid for in gold or silver." Besides, it was 
believed that, as specie was hoarded and would not come forth on account 
of the paper-money, the faculty of paying foreigners for articles of importa- 
tion would induce it to show itself, and draw it again into circulation. Pre- 
cautions of a puerile kind were moreover taken to prevent its going to feed 
the emigrants ; every person who sent abroad any metallic amount being 
obliged to import merchandise of the like value. 

Lastly, the government turned its attention to the difficult question of the 
assignats. There were nearly seven thousand five or six hundred millions 
in actual circulation ; in the coflTers there were five or six hundred millions ; 
the total sum fabricated amounted therefore to eight thousand millions. The 
pledge in hand, in property of first and second origin, as woods, lands, 
country mansions, hotels, houses, furniture, amounted to more than fifteen 
thousand millions, according to the actual valuation in assignats. The 
pledge was therefore amply sufficient. But the assignat lost nine-tenths or 
eleven-twelfths of its value, according to the objects for which it was given 
in payment. Thus the state, which received the taxes in assignats, the 
stockholder, the public functionary, the owner of houses or of lands, the 
creditor of a capital, all those in short who received their salaries, their 
income, their reimbursements, in paper, sustained losses that became daily 
more enormous; and the distress resulting from this state of things likewise 
increased every day. Cambon proposed to augment the salaries of the pub- 
lic functionaries and the income of the stockholders. After this suggestion 
had been opposed, it was found necessary to adopt it in regard to the public 
functionaries, who could no longer live upon their salaries. This was but a 
very slight palliative for an immense evil : it was relieving one class out of 
a thousand. To relieve them all, it would be requisite to re-establish the 
just standard of values ; but how was this to be effected ? 

People were still fond of indulging in the dreams of the preceding year. 

VOL. in. — 26 


They isTestigated the cause of the depreciation of the assignatSr and die 
means of raising them. In the first place, though they acknowledged that 
their great quantity was one cause of the depreciation, they strove to prove 
that this was not the chief cause, in order to exculpate themselves from the 
excessive issue. In proof, they alleged that at the moment of tlie defection 
of Dumouriez, of the insurrection in La Vendee and of the taking of Va- 
lenciennes, the assignats, circulating in much smaller quantity than after the 
raising of the blockade of Dunkirk, Maubeuge, and Landau, nevertheless 
lost more. This was true, and it proved that defeats and victories had an 
influence on the course of paper-money, a truth that was certainly incontest- 
able. But now, in the year III (March, 1795), victory was complete on all 
points, confidence in the sales was established, tlie national property had 
become the object of a species • of jobbing, a great number of speculators 
bought to make a profit by reselling or by dividing ; and yet the discredit of 
...the assignats was four or five times as great as in the preceding year. The 
'•/quantity of the issues was therefore the real cause of the depreciation of 
J liie paper, and to decrease the amount in circulation was the only mode to 
f.raise its value. 

The way to bring it back was to sell the national possessions. But what 
,.were the means of selling them ? — an everlasting question, which was brought 
I forward every year. The cause which had prevented the purchase of na- 
, tional property in preceding years was repugnance, prejudice, and above all, 
^_want of confidence in the acquisitions. Now there was a different cause. 
Let us figure to ourselves how immoveable property is acquired in the ordi- 
nary course of things. The merchant, the manufacturer, the farmer, and the 
capitalist, with slow accumulations arising from produce or income, purchase 
land of the man who has impoverished himself, or who wishes to change 
his property for another. Bui either it is one estate that is exchanged for 
another, or it is the estate that is exchanged for a moveable capital accumu- 
lated by labour. The purchaser of the estate comes to enjoy repose on its 
bosom ; the seller goes elsewhere to employ the moveable capital which he 
receives in payment, and to succeed to the laborious part of him who accu- 
mulated it. Such is the insensible revolution of immoveable property. But 
let us figure to ourselves a full third of the territory, consisting of extensive 
and mostly undivided estates, parks, country-houses, hotels, put up for sale 
all at once, at the very moment too when the most opulent proprietors, mer- 
chants, and capitalists, were dispersed, and we shall be able to judge whether 
it was possible to pay for tliem. It was not a few tradesmen or farmers who 
had escaped the proscriptions that could make such acquisitions, and what 
was still more, pay for tliem. We shall no doubt be told that the mass of 
assignats in circulation was sufficient to pay for the domains ; but this mass 
was illusory, if every holder of assignats was obliged to lay out eight or ten 
times the quantity to procure the same objects as formerly. 

The difficulty consisted, therefore, in furnishing purchasers not with the 
inclination to buy, but with the faculty of paying: consequently, all the 
means proposed were founded on a false basis, for they all presupposed that 
faculty. The means proposed were either forced or voluntary. The former 
were demonetization and forced loan. Demonetization changed paper-mo- 
ney into a mere delegation upon property. It was tyrannical ; for, when it 
reached the assignat in the hands of the labouring man or the individual 
who had but just wherewithal to live, it converted the morsel of bread into 
earth and suirved the holder of that assignat. The mere rumour, in fact, 
^ that a certain portion of the paper was to be divested of the character of 


money had caused a rapid fall, and a decree had been issued against demo- 
netizing. The forced loan was quite as tyrannical; it consijited also in 
forcibly changing the money assignat into an obligation on the lands. The 
only ditlerence was that the forced loan bore upon tlie upper and wealthy 
classes, and operated the conversion for them only ; but they had suffered 
80 severely that it was difficult to oblige them to buy landed property, with- 
out throwing them into cruel embarrassment. Besides, since the reaction, 
they began to defend themselves against any return to revolutionary 

There was of course nothing left but voluntary means. Expedients of all 
kinds were proposed. Cambon devised a scheme for a lottery: it was to 
consist of four millions of tickets at 1000 francs each, which made an amount 
of four thousand millions to be furnished by the republic. The state was to 
add 391 millions out of which the great prizes were to be formed, so that 
there should be four of 500,000 francs, thirty -six of 250,000, and tliree hun- 
dred and sixty of 100,000 The least fortunate were to get back the 1000 
francs which they had given for their tickets ; but both, instead of being paid 
in assignats, were to receive a bond on the national property,* bearing interest 
at three per cent. Thus it was supposed that the attraction of a considerable 
prize would cause this kind of investment in bonds on the national domains 
to be sought after, and that four thousand millions of assignats would thus 
exchange the quality of money for that of contracts on lands, by the sacrifice 
of a premium of 391 millions. Thirion proposed another plan, that of a 
tontine. But this method, consisting in those investments which are made 
to secure a small capital to certain survivors, was far too slow and too inade- 
quate in regard to the erronnous mass of the assignats. Johannot proposed 
a kind of territorial bank where assignats might be paid in and bonds bearing 
three per cent, interest obtained in their stead — bonds which might be ex- 
changed at pleasure for assignats. This was still the same plan of changing 
the paper-money into simple obligations on lands. Here the only difference 
consisted in conferring on those obligations the faculty of resuming the form 
of circulating medium. It is evident that the real difficulty was not sur- 
mounted. All the means deviled for withdrawing and raising the paper 
were therefore illusory : it would have been necessary to proceed for a long 
time to come in the same track, issuing assignats, which would fall more 
and more every day; and in the end there must have been a forced solution. 
Unfortunately, people can never foresee the necessary sacrifices, and diminish 
their extent by making them beforehand. Nations have always lacked this 
foresight and this courage in a financial crisis. 

To these supposed means of withdrawing the assignats were added others, 
fortunately more practicable but very limited. The moveable property of 
the emigrants, for which a ready sale might be found, amounted to 200 mil- 
lions. The shares of emigrants in the commercial companies might produce 
100 millions, the share in their inherited property 500 millions. But in the 
first case capital would be withdrawn from commerce ; in the second, a por- 
tion of the amount must be raised in lands. It was intended to offer a pre- 
mium to those who should complete their payments for the property already 
purchased, and it was hoped that 800 millions might thus be brought back. 
Lastly, it was intended to make a lottery of the great houses situated in Paris 
and not let. In case of complete success, this would bring in a thousand 
millions more. All the items that we have enumerated would thus withdraw 
2600 millions ; but it would have been very fortunate if 1500 millions had 
been got in upon the whole. That sum, however, was about to be producei^ 


in another way. The Convention had just decreed a very judicious and a 
very humane measure — the payment of the creditors of the emigrants. It 
had at first been resolved to make a separate liquidation for each emi- 
grant. As many of them were insolvent, the republic would not have paid 
their debts till it had realized their credits. But this individual liquidation 
would have been attended with endless delay. It would have been necessary 
to open an account for each emigrant, to enter in it his immoveable property, 
and his moveable property and to balance the whole with his debts ; and his 
unfortunate creditors, almost all of them servants, artisans, or shopkeepers, 
would have had to wait twenty or thirty years for their money. At the instiga- 
tion of Cambon, it was decided that the creditors of the emigrants should be- 
come creditors of the state, and should be paid immediately, excepting those 
whose debtors were notoriously insolvent. The republic might thus lose a 
few millions, but it would relieve very great distress and confer an immense 
benefit. Cambon, the revolutionist, was the author of this most humane idea. 

But, while these unhappy questions were under discussion, the attention 
of the government was called off every moment to still more urgent matters 
— the supply of Paris, which was almost entirely destitute. It was now the 
end of Ventose (the middle of March). The abolition of the maximum had 
not yet had the effect of reviving commerce, and corn did not arrive. A 
number of deputies, scattered around Paris, made requisitions which were 
not obeyed. Though they were still authorized for the supply of the great 
communes, and on paying the market-price, the farmers alleged that they 
were abolished, and refused to comply with them : but this was not the 
greatest obstacle. The rivers and the canals were entirely frozen. Not a 
boat could arrive. The roads, covered with ice, ^Pre impassable ; to render 
wheel-carriage possible it would have been requisite to gravel tliem foi 
twenty leagues round. During the journey the carts were plundered by the 
famished people, who were excited to fury by the Jacobins, who told them 
that the government was counter-revolutionary, that it suffered corn to rot in 
Paris, and that it intended to restore royalty. Wliile the arrivals diminished, 
the consumption increased, as always happens in such cases. The fear of 
running short made each person lay in provisions for several days. Bread 
was delivered as formerly on the presentation of tickets ; but every one ex- 
aggerated his wants. To favour their milkwomen, their laundresses, or the 
country-people, who brought them vegetables and poultry, the inhabitants 
of Paris gave them bread, which was preferred to money, on account of the 
dearth which afflicted the environs as much as Paris itself. The bilkers 
even sold dough to the country-people, and from fifteen hundred sacks the 
consumption had thus risen to nineteen hundred. The abolition of the 
maximum had caused an extraordinary rise in the prices of all kinds of eat- 
ables ; to bring them down, the government had put meat and goods in the 
hands of the pork butchers, the grocers, and the shop-keepers, to be sold at 
a low price. But tliese depositories abused their commission and sold at a 
higher rate than they had agreed to do. 

The committees were every day in the greatest alarm, and waited with 
extreme anxiety for the nineteen hundred stfcks of ffour which had become 
indispensable. Boissy-d'Anglas, charged with the superintendence of the 
supply of articles of consumption, came continually to make new reports, in 
order to pacify tlie public, and to impart to it a security which was not felt 
by the government itself. In tliis situation tlie customary abuse was not 
spared. "See," said the Mountain, ''the effect of tlic abolition of the max- 
imum!" — "See,^' replied the right side, "the inevitable effect of your revo- 


lutionary measures !" Each then proposed as a remedy the accomplishment 
of the wishes of his party, and demanded measures frequently most foreigpn 
to the painful subject under discussion. "Punish all the guilty!" said the 
right side, "repair all injustice, revise all the tyrannical laws, repeal all the 
laws relative to the suspected."—" No," answered the Mountaineers : " re- 
new your committees of government; render their energy revolutionary: 
cease to persecute the best patriots, and to raise the aristocracy again." Such 
were the means proposed for the relief of the public distress. 

It is always moments like these that parties choose for coming to blows 
and for carrying tlieir schemes into effect. The report so long expected 
concerning Billaud-Varennes, Collot-d'Herbois, Barrere, and Vadier, was 
presented to the Assembly. The commission of twenty-one decided upon 
accusation, and demanded the provisional arrest. The arrest was imme- 
diately voted by an immense majority. It was decreed that the four incul- 
pated members should be heard by the Assembly, and that a solemn discus- 
sion should be opened on the motion for placing them under accusation. 
No sooner was this decision adopted, than it was proposed to readmit into 
the bosom of the Assembly the proscribed deputieg, who two months before 
had been discharged from all prosecution, but #n"o had been forbidden to 
resume their seats among their coHeagues. Sieyes,* who had kept silence 
for five years, who, from the first months of the Constituent Assembly, had 
concealed himself in the centre, that his reputation and his genius might be 
forgotten, and whom the dictatorship had forgiven as an unsociable character, 
incapable of conspiring, ceasing to be dangerous as soon as he ceased writing 
— Sieyes emerged from Uijong silence, and said that, since the reign of the 
laws seemed to be restorS^he should resume the right to speak. So long 
as the outrage committed on the national representation was not repaired, the 
reign of the laws, according to him, was not re-established. "Your whole 
history" said he to the Convention, " is divided into two epochs ; from the 
2l8t orSeptember, the day of your meeting, to the 31st of May, the oppres- 
sion of the Convention by the misguided people ; from the 31st of May to 
the present day, the oppression of the people by the Convention, tyrannized 
over itself. From this day you will prove that you are become free by 
recalling your colleagues. Such a measure cannot even be discussed ; it is 
one of absolute right." The Mountaineers inveighed against this manner of 

• The following anecdotes are highly characteristic of Sieyes, who rendered himself con- 
apicuous during the Revolution by his numerous crotchets, theories, and systems, which pos- 
sessed every earthly recommendation except common sense. 

"Sieyes, observed Napoleon, before the Revolution, was almoner to one of the princesses. 
One day, when he was performing mass in the chapel before herself, her attendants, and a 
large congregation, something occurred which made the princess get up and retire. Her ex- 
ample was followed by her ladies-in-waiting, and by the whole of the nobility, oflicers, and 
others, who attended more out of complaisance to her than from any true sense of religion. 
Sieyes was very busy reading his breviary, and for some time did not perceive the general 
desertion. Lifting up his eyes, however, from his book, lo ! he observed that the princess, 
nobles, and all their retainers, had disappeared. With an air of contempt, displeasure, and 
haughtiness, he shut the book, hastilyKscended from the pulpit, exclaiming, ' I do not say 
mass for the canaille,^ and went out of the chapel, leaving the service half finished." — -A 
Voice from St. Helena. E. 

"The Abb^ Sieyes rendered himself remarkable on occasion of the King's trial. When 
his turn came to ascend the tribune, he pronounced the words ' Death, sans phrase.' This 
expression was afterwards parodied in a cutting manner by a minister of the King of Prussia, 
whom Caillard, the French minister, had requested to pay some attention to Sieyes, who 
was going as ambassador to Berlin. ' No,' replied b« ; ' and sant piiroie.' " — Memoira of a 
Penr of France. E. 




reasoning. "All that you have done then is null!'* exclaimed Cambon. 
" Those immense toils, that multitude of laws, all the decrees which consti- 
tute the present government, are then null 1 and the salvation of France, 
effected by your courage and your efforts, all tliis is null !" Sieyes said that 
he was misunderstood. The Assembly nevertheless decided that the deputies 
who had escaped the scaffold should be reinstated. Those famous prescripts, 
Isnard, Henri Larivi^re, Louvet, Lareveillere-Lepaux, and Doulcet de Pon- 
tecoulant, entered amidst applause. " Why," exclaimed Chenier, " wag 
there not a cavern deep enough to save from the executioners the eloquence 
of Vergniaud and the genius of Condorcet !"* 

The Mountaineers were indignant; nay, even several Thermidorians, 
alarmed at seeing the chiefs of a faction which had opposed so dangerous a 
resistance to the revolutionary system, admitted again into the Assembly, 
went back to the Mountain. Thuriot, that Thermidorian, so inimical to 
Robespierre, who had by a miracle escaped the fate of Philipeaux ; Lesage- 
Senault, a man of sound discretion, but a decided enemy to all counter-revo- 
lution; lasdy, Lecointre, the resolute adversary of Billaud, CoUot, and 
Barr^re, who had five months before been declared a calumniator for de- 
nouncing the seven remaitdng members of the old committees ; took their 
seats again on the left side. " You know not what you are doing," said 
Thuriot to his colleagues ; " those men will never forgive you." Iiecointre 
proposed a distinction: "Recall the proscribed deputies," said he, "but 
inquire which of them took arms against the country by exciting the depart- 
ments to insurrection, and admit them not again among you." All of them 
had in fact taken arms. Louvet hesitated not to^n^ess this, and proposed 
to declare that the departments which had risen iaSl93 had deserved well of 
the country. This called up Tallien, who, alarmed at the boldness of the 
Girondins, opposed the two propositions of Lecointre and Louvet. Both 
were rejected. While the Assembly recalled the proscribed GironcUns, it 
referred Pache, Bouchotte, and Garat,t to the examination of the coinlhittee 
of general safety. 

Such resolutions were not calculated to pacify the public mind. The 
increasing dearth at length rendered necessary the adoption of a measure 
which had been postponed for several days, and which could not fail to in- 
crease the irritation to the highest pitch — namely, to reduce the inhabitants 
of Paris to rations. Boissy-d'Anglas appeared before the Assembly on the 
25th of Ventose (March 15), and proposed, in order to prevent waste and to 
insure to each a sufficient share of provisions, to limit every individual to a 
certain quantity of bread. The number of persons composing each family 
was to be stated on the ticket, and no more than one pound of bread per day 
was to be allowed for each person. On this condition, the commission of 

* " I will not do the National Convention the injustice," said Chenier, who spoke in favour 
of the Girondins, " to place before its eyes the phantom of federalism, which they have dared 
to make the principal head of accusation against your colleagues. They have fled, it is said. 
They have concealed themselves. This, then, is their crime. Ah ! would that it had pleased 
the fates of the republic that this had been the crimMof them all ! Why were there not 
caverns deep enough to preserve to their country fm meditation* of Condorcet, and the 
eloquence of Vergniaud ? Why, on the 10th of Thermidor, did not a hospitable land again 
bring to light this band of energetic patriots, and virtuous republicans ! But they fear schemes 
of vengeance from men soured by misfortune." — l^tignet. E. 

j- " Garat was a man of talent who had distinguished himself in the revolutionary troubles, 
but his eloquence, I well remember, was always disliked by Bonaparte. ' What an animal 
that Garat is !' said he to me one day. ' What a stringer of words ! There are people who 
never know when to hold their tongues.' " — Bourrienne. E. 


supplies could answer for it that the city would not be left without provi- 
sions. Romme, the Mountaineer, proposed to raise the allowance of work- 
ing men to a pound and a half. The upper classes, he said, possessed the 
means of procuring butchers' meat, rice, or vegetables ; but the common 
people, being unable to buy anything but bread, ought to have more of it. 
Romrae's proposition was adopted, and the Thermidorians were sorry that 
they had not made it themselves, to gain the support of the lower classes and 
to withdraw them from the Mountain. 

No sooner was this decree passed than it excited a most violent ferment 
in the populous quarters of Paris. The revolutionists strove to aggravate its 
effect, and never called Boissy-d'Anglas by any other name than Famine 
Boissy. On the day after the next, the 27th of Ventose (March 17), when 
the decree was for the first time carried into execution, a great tumult arose 
in the fauxbourgs St. Antoine and St. Marceau. For the 636,000 inhabitants 
of the capital there had been given out 1897 sacks of flour: 324,000 citizens 
had received tlie additional half-pound allowed to persons supporting them- 
selves by die labour of their hands. Nevertheless, it appeared so new to the 
people of the fauxbourgs to be reduced to rationa^^fc^t they murmured. Some 
women, Avho were accustomed to attend the cliH>, and who were always 
ready to create a riot, made a disturbance in the section of the Observatoire, 
and were joined by the usual agitators of the section. They resolved to pre- 
sent a petition to the Convention ; but for this purpose it was requisite that 
there should be a meeting of the whole section, and it was not lawful to hold 
such a meeting excepting on the Decadi. They nevertheless beset the civil 
committee, demanded with threats the keys of the hall, and, on its refusal to 
give them up, the mob insisted on its sending one of its members to go with 
them to the Convention. The committee complied, and appointed one of 
its members to regularize the movement and to prevent disturbance. A simi- 
lar scene was taking place at the same moment in the section of Finistere. 
A concourse had collected there and joined that of the Observatoire ; and 
both, blended together, proceeded towards the Convention. One of the 
ringleaders undertook to speak, and was conducted with a few of the peti- 
tioners to the bar. The rest of the mob remained outside making a tremen- 
dous noise. " We are in want of bread !" said the spokesman of the depu- 
tation : " we are ready to regret all the sacrifices that we have made for the 
Revolution." At these words, the Assembly, filled with indignation, ab- 
ruptly stopped him, and several members rose to condemn language so 
unbecoming. "Bread! bread!" shouted the pedtioners striking the bar 
with their fists. On this insolent conduct,, the' Assembly desired them to 
be turned out of the hall. Tranquillity, however, was restored ; the speaker 
finished his harangue and said that, till the wants of the people were sup- 
plied, they would not shout anything but The republic for ever! Thibau- 
deau, the president, replied with firmness to this seditious speech, and, witli- 
out inviting the petitioners to the sitting, sent them back to their work. The 
committee of general safety, which had already collected some battalions of 
the sections, cleared away th<^rowd from the doors of the Assembly, and 
dispersed it. ^ i , 

This scene produced a strong impression on the public mind. The daily 
threats of the Jacobins spread through the sections of tlie fauxbourgs ; their 
inflammatory placards, in which they gave warning that an insurrection 
would take place within a week, if all the prosecutions against the patriots 
were not dropped, and if the constitution of 1793 were not enforced; their 
almost public conferences, held in the coflfee-houses of the fauxbourgs ; lasdy, 


this recent attempt at riot, revealed to the Convention the scheme of a new 
31st of May. The right side, the reinstated Girondins, the Thermidorians. 
all threatened alike, deemed it time to take measures for preventing any new 
attack on the national representation. Sieyes, who had lately made his ap- 
pearance again upon the stage, and become a member of the committee of 
public welfare, proposed to the united committees a sort of martial law, des- 
tined to preserve the Convention from fresh violence. This proje.t de lot 
declared as seditious every concourse of people assembled for the purpose of 
attacking public or private property, of restoring royalty, of overthrowing the 
republic and the constitution of 1793, of going to the Temple, to the Con- 
venti(m, &c. Every member of such an assemblage was to be liable to 
banishment. If after three warnings from the magistrates the assemblage 
did not disperse, force was to be employed ; and, till the public force should 
collect, all the adjoining sections were to send their own battalions. An in- 
sult offered to a representative of the people was to be punished by banish- 
ment; outrage, attended with violence, by death. One bell only was to 
remain in Paris, and to be placed in the Pavilion de I'Unit^. If any assem- 
blage should be proceeding towards the Convention, this bell was immedi- 
ately to sound the alarm. At this signal, all the sections were to be required 
to assemble and to march to the succour of the national representation. If 
the Convention should be dissolved, or its liberty violated, all the members 
who could escape were to be enjoined to leave Paris immediately, and to 
repair to Ch&lons-sur-Marne. All the deputies absent on leave or on mis- 
sions were to be ordered to join them. The generals were also to send them 
troops from the frontiers, and the new ConTen^tf[ybrmed at Chalons, the 
only depository of the legitimate authority, was tPjRrch to Paris, to delivei 
the oppressed portion of the national representaiion, and to punish the au. 
thors of the outrage. 

This plan was cordially adopted- by the committees. Sieyes was com- 
missioned to draw up the report upon it, and to present it as speedily as pos- 
sible to the Assembly. The revolutionists, on their part, iraboldened by the 
late movement, finding in the dearth a most favourable opportunity, perceiv- 
ing that the danger was becoming more imminent for their party, and that 
the fatal moment for Billaud, Collot, Barrere, and Vadier, was approaching, 
bestirred themselves with greater violence, and thought seriously of get- 
ting up a sedition. The electoral club and the popular society of the Quinze- 
Vingts had been dissolved. Deprived of this place of refuge, the revolution- 
ists had resorted to the sectional assemblies, which were held every Decadi. 
They swayed the fauxbourgs St. Antoine and St. Marceau, and the quarters 
of the Temple and of the City. They met at the coffee-houses situated in 
the heart of these different quarters ; they projected a commotion, but with- 
out having either any avowed plan or leaders. Among them were several 
men compromised either in the revolutionary committees or in different 
offices, who possessed considerable influence over the multitude; but none 
of them had a decided superiority. The one counterbalanced the other, 
agreed but ill together, and bad, moreover, ^communication whatever with 
the deputies belonging to tlie Mountain. ^^ 

The old popular leaders had always been allied with Danton, with Robes* 
pierre, with the heads of Uie government, and had served as intermediate 
agents to give their directions to the populace. But all these had perished. 
The new leaders were strangers to the new chiefs of the Mountain. They 
had nothing in common with them but their dangers and their attachment to 
the same cause. Besides, the Mountaineer deputies, as the beaten party. 


being left in a minority in the Assembly, and accused of conspiring in order 
to recover power, were under the necessity of justifying themselves every 
day, and obliged to declare that they were not conspiring. The usual result 
of such a position is a wish that others should conspire, and a fear of enter- 
ing into a conspiracy oneself. Accordingly, the Mountaineers said every 
day. The people ivill rise — the people must rise; but they would not have 
dared to concert with the people in order to bring about that rising.* Many 
imprudent expressions used by Duhem and Maribon-Montaud in a coffee- 
house were repeated. Both must have been very unguarded and indiscreet 
to utter them. Declarations made by Leonard Bourdon to the sectionary 
society of the Rue du Vertbois were also cited: they were likely enough to 
have come from him : but none of these men corresponded with the patriots. 
As for Billaud, Collot, and Barrere, wli#were more interested than any other 
persons in a commotion, they were afraid lest, by taking part in one, they 
should render their own position worse, which was already very dangerous. 

The patriots, therefore, proceeded alone, witliout much unity of purpose, 
as is almost always the case when there are no very prominent chiefs. They 
ran from one to the other, carrying messages from street to street and from 
quarter to quarter, and intimating that this or that«ection was going to pre- 
sent a petition, or to attempt a movement. At the commencement of a revp- 
lution, at the outset of a party, when all its chiefs are with it, when success 
and novelty hurry the mass along in its train, when it disconcerts its adver- 
saries by the boldness of its attacks, it makes amends by excitement for the 
want of unity and order : on the contrary, when it is once forced to defend 
itself, when it is deprived of impulsion, when it is known to its adversaries, 
it has more need than ever^f discipline. But that discipline almost always 
impossible, becomes absolutely so when the influential leaders are gone. 
Such was the position of the patriot party ; it was no longer the torrent of 
the 14th of July, of the .5th and 6th of October, of the 10th of August, or of 
the 31st of May. It was the combination of a few men, inured by long dis- 
cord to hostility, seriously compromised, full of energy and obstinacy it is 
true, but more capable of fighting desperately than of conquering. 

According to the old custom of preceding every movement by an impera- 
tive and yet guarded petition, the sections of Montreuil and the Quinze- 
Vingts comprised in the fauxbourg St. Antoine, drew up one in much the 
same spirit as all those which had been the forerunners of the great insurrec- 
tions. It was agreed that it should be presented on the 1st of Germinal 
(March 21). This was the very day that the committees had resolved to 
propose the law of high police devised by Sieyes. Besides the deputation 
which was to present the petition, an assemblage of patriots took care to pro- 
ceed towards the Tuileries; thither they thronged, and, as usual, they formed 
numerous groups, shouting. The Convention forever! the Jacobins forever! 
doivn ivith the Aristocrats ! The young men, with hair turned up and black 
collars, had also moved off from the Palais Royal to the Tuileries, and 
formed hostile groups, crying, The Convention forever .' down ivith the 
Terrorists! The petitioners were admitted to the bar. The language of 
their petition was extremely moclerate. They referred to the distress of the 
people, but without acrimony ; they combated the accusation directed against 

* " With respect to the middle classes and the people, the death of Robespierre was the 
death of the revolutionary government ; and, after various struggles and oscillations, th» 
Mountaineers (that is to say, those who wished to continue the system of terror) found 
themselves no longer heading the people, but, in spite of themselves, drawn along with and 
governed by public opinion." — La3 Cases. E. 

VOL. HI. — 27 8 2 


the patriots, but without recriminating against their adversaries. They 
merely remarked that the authors of these charges misconceived both the 
past services of the patriots, and the position in which they had found them- 
selves. They confessed, however, that excesses had been committed, but 
added, that all parties were composed of men and not of gods. "The sec- 
tions of the Quinze-Vingts and of Montreuil,*' said they, " are not come, 
therefore, to demand of you as general measures either banishment or the 
opilling of blood against this or that party, measures which confound mere 
error with crime : they regard all Frenchmen as brethren, differendy organ- 
ized, it is true, but all members of the same family. They come to solicit 
you to employ an instrument which is in your hands, and which is the only 
efficacious one for putting an end to our political storms; that is the consti- 
tution of 1793. Organize from this iay forth that popular constitution which 
the French people have accepted and sworn to defend. It will reconcile 
all interests, pacify the public mind, and lead you to the term of your 

This insidious proposition comprised all that the revolutionists desired at 
the moment. They actually conceived that the constitution, in expelling the 
Convention, would bring4fack their leaders and themselves to the legislature, 
to the executive power, and to the municipal administrations. This was an 
egregious mistake ; but such was their hope, and they thought that, without 
expressing dangerous wishes, such as the release of the patriots, the suspen- 
sion of all proceedings against them, and the formation of a new commune 
at Paris, they should find its accomplishment in the mere putting in force of 
the constitution. If the Convention refused to ^mply with their demand, 
if it did not speak out precisely, and did not Wk an early period, it would 
confess that it disliked the constitution of 1793. Thibaudeau, the president, 
made them a very firm reply, concluding with these words, which were by 
no means flattering, nay, they were indeed severe : " The Convention has 
never attributed the insidious petitions which have been presented to it, to 
the sturdy and stanch defenders of liberty, whom the fauxbourg St. Antoine 
has produced." As soon as the president had finished, Chales hastened to 
mount the tribune, to demand that the declaration of rights should be exhi- 
bited in the hall of the Convention, as one of the articles of the constitution 
required. Tallien succeeded him in the tribune. ♦' I ask those men," said 
he, " who now pretend to be such zealous defenders of the constitution, those 
•who seem to have adopted the watchword of a sect which sprang up at the 
conclusion of the Constituent Assembly — The constitution, and nothing 
but the constitution — I ask them if it was not themselves who shut it up in 
a box ?" Applause from one quarter, murmurs and shouts from another, 
interrupted Tallien. Resuming his speech, amidst tumult, " Nothing," he 
continued, " shall prevent me from expressing my opinion when I am among 
the representatives of the people. We are all for upholding the constitution, 
with a firm government, with the government which it prescribes ; and it is 
not right that certain members should make the people believe that there are 
in this Assembly persons hostile to the constitution. It behoves us tiiis day 
to take measures to prevent them from slftdering the pure and respectable 
majority of the Convention." — " Yes, yes," was the general cry from all 
quarters. " That constitution," proceeded Tallien, " which they followed 
up not by laws calculated to complete it and to render its execution possible, 
but by the revolutionary government — that constitution we must put in action, 
and we must impart life to it. But we shall not be so imprudent as to pre- 
^nd to carry it into eflfect without organic laws, so as to consign it incom- 


plete and defenceless to all the enemies of the republic. For this reason, I 
move that a report be immediately prepared on the means of perfecting the 
constitution, and that it be decreed that henceforth there shall be no interme- 
diate agency between the present government and tlie definitive govern- 
ment." Tallien descended from the tribune amidst universal demonstrations 
of the satisfaction of the Assembly, whom his manner of replying had extri- 
cated from a dilemma. The preparation of organic laws was a happy 
pretext for deferring the promulgation of the constitution, and furnishing the 
means of njodifying it. It was an occasion for a new revision, like that to 
which the constitution of 1791 was subjected. MiauUe, a moderate Moun- 
taineer, approved Tallien's proposal, and admitted, with him, that they ought 
not to be too precipitate in carrying the constitution into effect: but he 
maintained that there could not be any inconvenience in giving it publicity ; 
and he moved that it should be engraved on marble tablets and set up in all 
the public places. Thibaudeau, alarmed at the idea of giving such publicity 
to a constitution framed in a moment of democratic frenzy, gave up the 
chair to Clauzel, and ascended the tribune. " Legislators," said he, " we 
ought not to resemble those priests of antiquity who had two ways of ex- 
pressing themselves, the one secret, the other ostensible. It behoves us to 
have the courage to say what we think of this constitution ; and, were it 
even to strike me dead, as it last year struck those who presumed to make 
observations against it, still would I speak out." After a long intemiption 
occasioned by applause, Thibaudeau boldly asserted that there would be 
danger in publishing a constitution with which those who so highly extolled 
it were assuredly hot acquainted. " A democratic constitution," said he, 
" is not one in which the people themselves exercise all the powers." " No! 
no !" cried a multitude of voices. " It is that," resumed Thibaudeau, " under 
which the people enjoy liberty, equality, and peace. Now I cannot find 
these in a constitution which should place a usurping commune or factious 
Jacobins by the side of the national represention ; which should not give to 
the national representation the direction of the armed force in the place where 
it is sitting, and should thus deprive it of the means of defending itself and of 
upholding its dignity ; which should grant to a fraction of the people the 
right of partial insurrection and the faculty of overthrowing the state. To 
no purpose are we told that an organic law will correct all these inconve- 
niences. A mere law may be altered by the legislature ; but dispositions 
so important as those which shall be comprehended in these organic laws 
must be as immutable as the constitution itself. Besides, organic laws are 
not framed in a fortnight, or even in a month ; meanwhile I propose that no 
publicity be given to the constitution ; that great vigour be imparted to the 
government, and that even, if it be requisite, new powers be given to the com- 
mittee of public welfare." Thibaudeau descended from the tribune amidst 
applause bestowed on the boldness of his declaration. It was then proposed 
to close the discussion immediately. The president put the question to the 
vote, and almost the whole Assembly rose in support of it. The irritated 
Mountaineers complained that they had not had time to hear what the presi- 
dent said, and that they knew not what had been proposed. No attention 
was paid to them, and the Assembly proceeded to other business. Legendre 
then moved the appointment of a commission of eleven members, to aonsider 
without intermissibn the organic laws with which the constitution was to be 
accompanied. This idea was forthwith adopted. The committees «(t tliat 
moment intimated that they had an important report to make, and Sieyes 
ascended the tribune to submit his law of high police. 


While these different scenes were passing in the interior of the Assembly, 
tlie greatest tiimult prevailed without. The patriots of the fauxbourg, who 
had not been able to get into tlie hall, had gone to the Carrousel and to the 
gardens of the Tuileries, and were there waiting impatiently, and setting up 
their accustomed shouts, till the result of the application to the Convention 
should be known. Some of them had come from the tribunes to report to 
the others what had passed ; and, giving them an unfaithful account, they 
had told them that the petitioners had been maltreated. The tumult among 
them increased. Some ran off to the fauxbourgs to say that their envoys 
were ill-used by the Convention ; others scoured the garden, driving before 
them the young men whom they met with ; they had even seized three of 
them and thrown them into tlie great basin of the Tuileries.* The com- 
mittee of general safety, observing these disorders, had directed the drums to 
beat, for the purpose of calling together the neighbouring sections. Mean- 
while, the danger was urgent ; and it required time for the sections to be 
called together, and to assemble. The committee had around it a body of 
young men, who had collected to the number of a thousand or twelve hun- 
dred, armed with sticks and disposed to fall upon the groups of patriots, who 
had not yet met with any resistance. It accepted their aid, and authorized 
them to keep order in the garden. They rushed upon the groups which 
were shouting The Jacobins forever ! dispersed them after a long contest, 
and drove back part of them towards the hall of the Convention. Some of 
the patriots again went up to the tribunes, and there caused a sort of confu- 
sion by their precipitate arrival. At this moment, Sieyes was finishing his 
report on the law of high police. An adjournment was demanded, and there 
were cries from the Mountain of " It is a bloody law ! It is martial law ! 
They want the Convention to leave Paris !" With these cries was mingled 
the noise of the runaways coming back from the garden. Great agitation 
ensued. " The royalists are assassinating the patriots !" exclaimed a 
voice. A tumult was heard at the doors : the president put on his hat. A 
great majority of the Assembly said that the danger against which Sieyes's 
law provided had already occurred, that it ought to be voted immediately. 
" Vote ! vote !" was the general cry. The law was put to the vote, and 
adopted by an immense majority, amidst the loudest applause. The mem- 
bers of the extreme left refused to take any part in die proceeding. At 
length quiet was gradually restored, and it began to be possible to hear the 
speakers. " The Convention has been imposed upon," cried Duhem. 
Clauzel, who then came in, said, that he hatl brought good news. " We 
want none of thy good news," replied several voices. Clauzel continued, 
and reported that the good citizens had assembled to make a rampart of their 
bodies for the national representation. He was applauded. " It is thou," 
cried Ruamps, " who hast instigated these mobs, in order to cause tlie pass- 
ing of an atrocious law." Clauzel attempted to reply, but could not make 
himself heard. The law, voted with such precipitation, was tlien attacked. 
" The law has been passed," said the president, "it is too late to revert to 
it." " People here are conspiring with those outside," said Tallien ; "no 

* "The enraged patriuU set off to appear before the Convention. They vociferously de- 
■Mode^Bread, the Constitution of 1793, and the liberty of the irnnrisoncd Jacobins.' They 
met tome young people, and threw them into the basin of (he Tuileries. I3ut the report 
having soon spread that the Convention was in danger, and that the Jacobins were p:oin^ to 
attempt the rescue of their chiefs, the Troupe Dor^e, followed by slwut five thousand citizens 
belonging to the interior sections, arrived to disperse the men of the fauxbourgs, and to act 
C8 the guard of the Anembly." — Mignet. E. 


matter, let us resume afresh the discussion of the projet, and prove that the 
Convention can deliberate even amidst murderers?- Tallien's proposal was 
adopted, and the projet of Sieyes was anew taken into consideration. The 
discussion was carried on with more calmness. While the assembly was 
deliberating within tlie hall, tranquillity was restored without. The 
young men, victorious over the Jacobins, begged permission to present 
themselves before the Assembly. They were introduced by deputation, 
and protested their patriotic intentions and their devotedness to the na- 
tional representation. They withdrew after having been vehemently ap- 
plauded. The Convention persisted in discussing the law of police without 
stirriifg, voted it article by article, and at length broke up at ten at night. 

This day left both parties convinced of the approach of some important 
event. The patriots, repulsed by the closing of the debate in the Conven- 
tion, and beaten with sticks in the garden of the Tuileries, repaired to the 
fauxbourgs to vent their rage, and to excite the populace there to riot. The 
Convention plainly saw that it was about to be attacked, and prepared to 
avail itself of the tutelary law which it had just passed. 

The next day was likely to produce as warm a discussion as that which 
was just over. It was the first time that Billaud, CoUot, Barrere, and Vadier 
were to be heard before the Convention. A great number of patriots and 
women had thronged very early to occupy the tribunes. The young men 
more prompt, had got there before them, and prevented the women from 
entering. They had sent them away rather roughly, and some scuffles 
had ensued around the hall. Numerous patroles, on duty in the environs, 
had nevertheless maintained the public peace ; the tribunes had filled without 
much disturbance, and, from eight in the morning till noon, the time had 
been spent in singing patriotic airs. On one side was sung Le Beveil du 
Peuple, on the other La Marseillaise, till the deputies were seated. The 
president at length took the chair amidst shouts of The Convention for ever! 
7Vie republic for ever! The accused had entered and seated themselves at 
the bar, and the discussion was awaited in profound silence. 

Robert Lindet immediately demanded permission to speak on a motion of 
order. It was surmised that this irreproachable man, whom none had dared 
to accuse along with tlie other members of the committee of public safety, 
meant to defend his old colleagues. It was generous in him to do so, for he 
had still less concern than Carnot and Prieur of the Cote-d'Or in the political 
measures of the late committee of public welfare. He had accepted the 
department of supplies and transports solely on condition that he should 
have notliing to do with the operations of his colleagues, that he should 
never deliberate with them, nay, that he should even have his office in a dif- 
ferent building. He had refused the co-suretiship before the danger ; tlie 
danger arrived, and he generously came forward to claim it. It was thought 
likely that Carnot and Prieur of the C6te-d'0r would follow Lindet's exam- 
ple : accordingly, several voices on the right were raised at once to oppose 
his being heard. "The accused must be heard first," was the cry; "tliey 
must speak tefore either their accusers or their defenders."— "Yesterday," 
Baid Bourdon of the Oise, " a plot was hatched to save the accused ; it was 
frustrated by the good citizens. To-day recburf e is had to other means ; 
scruples are awakened in honest men, whom the accusation has sep^ted 
from their colleagues : they are prevailed upon to associate themselves with 
the guilty, in order to retard justice by new obstacles. Robert Lindet replied 
that the intention was to bring the whole government to trial, that he had 
been a member of it, that, in consequence, he ought not to consent to be 


separated from his colleagues, and that he claimed his share of the responsi- 
bility. Men hardly dare withstand an act of generosity and courage. Robert 
Lindet obtained permission to speak. He expatiated at great length on the 
immense toils of the committee of public welfare ; he demonstrated its ac- 
tivity, its foresight, and its eminent services ; and proved that the excitement 
of zeal produced by the struggle had alone caused the excesses with which 
certain members of that government were charged. This speech, which 
lasted six hours, was not heard without many interruptions. Ungrateful 
persons, forgetting already the services of the accused, found this enumera- 
tion of the obligations owing to them rather tedious : and some members 
even had the indecency to say that this speech ought to be printed at Liddet's 
expense, because it would cost the republic too much. The Girondins were 
nettled by the mention of the federalist insurrection and the calamities which 
it had caused. Every party found reason to complain. At length, die As- 
sembly adjourned to the following day, many of its members vowing not to 
suffer any more of those long depositions in favour of the accused. Camot 
and Prieur of the C6te-d'0r desired, however, to be heard in their turn; they 
were anxious, like Lindet, to lend a generous succour to their colleagues, 
and at the same time to justify themselves against a great number of accusa- 
tions, which could not be urged against Billaud, Collot, and Barrere without 
involving them also. The signature of Camot and Prieur of the C6te-d'0r 
was in fact attached to the orders for which the accused were most severely 
censured. Carnot, whose reputation was immense, who was said in France 
and in Europe to have organized victory, and whose courageous contestd 
with St. Just and Robespierre were well known, could not be heard without 
respect and a sort of reverence.* He obtained leave to speak. " It belongs 
to me," said he, " to justify the committee of public welfare, to me who 
dared first to face Robespierre and St. Just ;" and he might have added— to 
me who dared attack them, while you obeyed their slightest orders, and decreed 
at their pleasure all the executions which they demanded of you. He first ex- 
plained how his signature and that of his colleagues, who had no participation 
whatever in the political acts of the committee, came nevertheless to be ap- 
pended to the most sanguinary orders. " Overwhelmed," said he, " by the 
pressure of business, having three or foiir hundred matters to settle every 
day, and very often no time for meals, we had agreed to lend our signatures 
to one another. We signed a multitude of papers without reading them. I 
signed orders for placing under accusation, and my colleagues signed orders 
for military movements and plans of attack, without either having time to 
enter into any explanation concerning them. The necessity for this immense 
toil had required that individual dictatorship, which each had reciprocally 
granted to the other. Without this, we could never have got through the 
business. The order to arrest one of the most useful of my emplot/et in the 

* " Camot wu Dot included id the act of accuMtion, bat be bad the magnanimity to d«< 
claro that, having acted with his colleaguea for the pablic good, be had no wi»h bat to ihara 
their Tate. Thia generous proceeding embarraned the accaseti ; but, in ord^ to avoid im> 
plicatinf^ m illuatriou* a character in the impeachment, it was reaolved to Kmit it to aooM 
only of the members of the committee ; and Amar, VouianJ, and the painter David, w«l» 
excluded, the last of whom had disgraced a fine genius by the moat savage revolottoaary 
ftnatiffcm." — Alitum. E. 

** Carnot, after the events of Thermidor, when the Convention caused all the mambers of 
the committee of public safety to be arrested, with the exception of himself, insisted on shar- 
ing their fate. This conduct was the more noble, inasmuch as the country had declarad 
violently against the committee. Camot, who had a high sense of honour and fra 
sensibility, was deeply affected by the reproaches of public i^inion." — Las Com*. E. 



WM department, an order for which I attacked St. Just and Robespierre, and 
denounced them as usurpers — that order I had signed without knowing it. 
Thus our signamre proves nothing, and it cannot be adduced in evidence of 
our participation in the acts laid to the charge of the late government." Car- 
not tlien endeavoured to justify his accused colleagues. Though admitting, 
without precisely saying so, that they had formed part of the passionate and 
violent men of the committee, he declared that they had been the first to rise 
up against the triumvirate, and that the indomitable character of Billaud- 
Vareunes had been the greatest obstacle that Robespierre had had to en- 
counter. Prieur of the Cote-d'Or, who, in the fabrication of arms and 
ammunition, had rendered as important services as Carnot, and who had 
given the same signatures and in the same manner, repeated Carnot's decla- 
ration, and insisted, like him and Lindet, on sharing the responsibility which 
pressed upon the accused. 

Here the Convention found itself plunged again into the perplexities of a 
discussion which had been several times renewed, and which had never led 
to anything but frightful confusion. Was not this example, given by three 
men enjoying universal consideration and voluntarily declaring themselves 
co-sureties of the late government a warning for it ? Was it of no conse- 
quence that everybody had more or less been an accomplice of the old com- 
mittees, and that it ought itself to demand chains, like Lindet, Carnot, and 
Prieur ? In fact, it had not attacked tyranny till after the Miree men whom 
it now wished to punish as its accomplices ; and as for their passions, it had 
shared them all ; it was even more culpable than they if it hdd not felt them, 
for it had sanctioned all their excesses. 

Thus, on the 4th, 5th, and 6th of Germinal, the discussion degenerated 
into a frightful squabble. Every moment the name of a fresh member was 
compromised; he demanded permission to justify himself; he recriminated 
in his turn ; and the members belonging to both parties entered into digre^ 
sions equally long and dangerous. It was then decreed that the accused 
and the members of the commission should alone have the privilege of speak- 
ing, for the purpose of discussing the facts, article by article, and every 
deputy was forbidden to attempt to justify himself if his name was mentioned. 
To no purpose was this decree passed. Every moment the discussion again 
became general, and there was not an act but was bandied from one to the 
other with fearful violence. The commotion which existed on the preced- 
ing days kept still increasmg. Only one cry was heard in the fauxbourgs. 
We must go to the Convention, to demand bread, the constitution of 1793, 
and the release of the patriots. Unfortunately, the quantity of flour neces- 
sary for furnishing the 1800 sacks not having arrived in Paris on the 6th, 
only a half ration was given out on the morning of the 7th, with a promise 
of Uie other half in the evening. The women of the section of the Gravil- 
liers, in the quarter of the Temple, refused the half ration oflfered them, and 
assembled tumultuously in the Rue du Vert-Bois. Some of them, who pos- 
sessed influence, strove to form an assemblage, and, taking with them all the 
women wKom they fell in with, set ofl" for the Convention. While they 
were proceeding thither, the leaders ran to the house of the president of the 
section, seized by violence his bell and the keys of the hall of meeting, and 
set about forming an illegal assembly. They appointed a president, com- 
posed a bureau, and read several times the article of the declaration of rights, 
which proclaimed insurrection to \)e a right and a duty. The women had 
meanwhile pursued their way to the Convention, and were making a great 
uoise at its doors. Thev desired to be introduced en maaae, but only twenty 


were admitted. One of them boldly spoke in their name, and compIaine<I 
tliat they had received only half a pound of bread. The president having 
attempted to reply, they shouted, " Bread ! bread!" They interrupts! y 
the same cry the explanation which Boissy-d'Anglas would have givtn in- 
specting the distribution of the morning. They were at length obliged to 
withdraw, and the discussion relative to the accused was resumed. 'I'he 
committee of general safety ordered patroles to escort these women back, 
and sent one of its members to dissolve the assembly illegally formed in Uie 
section of the Gravilliers. Those who composed it refused at first to comply 
with the exhortations of the representative sent to them ; but on seeing the 
armed force tliey dispersed. In the night, the principal instigatofs were 
apprehended and conveyed to prison. 

This was the third attempt at commotion. On the 27th of Ventose peo- 
ple had rioted on account of the ration, on the 1st of Germinal on accounl 
of the petition of the Quinze-Vingts, and on the 7th on account of the insuf- 
ficient distribution of provisions. Apprehensions were entertained of a 
general movement on the Decadi, a day of idleness, and on which the meet- 
ings of the sections were held. To prevent the dangers of an assemblage at 
night, it was decided that the sectional assemblies should be held between 
the hours of one and four. This was but a very insigniBcant measure, and 
could not possibly prevent the conflict. It was obvious that the principal 
cause of these dbmmotions was the accusation preferred against the late 
members of the committee of public welfare, and the imprisonment of the 
patriots. Many deputies were disposed to drop prosecutions which, were 
they ever so just, were cerliiinly dangerous. Kouzet devissd a plan which 
would render it unnecessary to pass any sentence on the accused, and which 
at the same time would save their lives. This was the ostracism. When 
a citizen should have made- his name a subject of discord, he proposed to 
banish him for a time. His suggestion was not listened to. Merlin of 
Thionville, a warm Therm idorian and an intrepid citizen, began nevertheless 
to think that it would be better to avoid a conflict. He proposed, therefore, 
to convoke the primary assemblies, to put the constitution in force iiniue- 
diately, and to refer the trial of the accused to the next legislature. Meiiia 
of Douai strongly supported this advice. Guyton-Morveau* proposed a 
firmer course. " The proceedings in which we are now engaged," said he, 
"are a scandal: where should we stop, if we were to prosecute all those 
who have made more sanguinary motions than those with which the accused 
are charged ? One cannot tell, indeed, whether we are finishing or recom- 
mencing our revolution." The Convention was justly starUcd at the idea 
of resigning at such a moment the supreme authority to a new assembly; 
neither was it disposed to give France a constitution so absuxd as that 
of 1793. It declared, therefore, that there were no grounds for discuss- 
ing the propositions of the two Merlins. As for the proceedings already 
commenced, their continuance gratified the revenge of too many for them to 
be relinquished ; and it was merely decided that tlie Assembly, in onler lliat 

* " L. B. Guyton-Morvcau, bom in 1737, wm cboMO deputy to tb« kgkbtare, to whkh 
ho became secretary in 1791. In the following year b« WM appointeil pntideol, Mid«»- 
ployed himteir in financial afl'aira. Being af^erwank deputed to the Conventioo, ho Totod 
for the King's death. In 1794, after the 9th of ThermiJor, he was rhoeen into the committee 
of public safety. During the session of 1795 be distinguished himself by his activity, and 
his reports; and shortly a(\er entered into the council of Five Hundred. In the year IH04, 
be was made an officer of the Legion of Honour. Guyton-Morresu was a man of scipnc«, 
and we owe to him the imftortant discovery of a method of purifying the air bj ndociag 
muriatic add to gas." — Biograpfue Mudemc £. 



it might be able to attend to other business, should devote ever) other day 
only to the hearing of the accused. 

Such a decision was not calculated to pacify the patriots. The Decadi 
was spent in reciprocally exciting one another. The sectional assemblies 
were very tumultuous. Still the so-much-dreaded commotion did ndt take 
place. In the section of the Quinze-Vingts a new petition was drawn up ; 
it was bolder than the first, and was to be presented on the following day. It 
was accordingly read at the bar of the Convention. " Why," it asked, "is 
Paris without municipality ? Why are Uie popular societies shut up ? What 
has become of the crops ? Why are assignats falling every day ? Why 
are the young men of the Palais Royal alone allowed to assemble ? Why 
are the patriots alone in prison ? The people are at length determined to be 
free. They know that when they are oppressed, insurrection is the first of 
their duties." The petition was read, amid the murmurs of a large portion 
of the Assembly and the applause of the Mountain. Pelet of La Loz^re, 
the president, received the petitioners rather roughly, and dismissed them. 
The only satisfaction granted was to send to the sections the list of the im- 
prisoned patriots, that they might be enabled to judge whether there were 
any who deserved to be claimed. 

The rest of the 11th was passed in agitations in the fauxbourgs. People 
said everywhere that they must go the next day to the Convention, to 
demand once more all that they had not yet been able to obtain from it. This 
opinion circulated from mouth to mouth, in all the quarters occupied by the 
patriots. The leaders of each section, without having any determined 
object, were desirous of exciting a general rising, and propelling the entire 
mass of the populace upon the Convention. Next day, the 12th of Ger- 
minal (April 1), men, women, and children, actually sallied forth in the 
section of the Cite, and beset the bakers' doors, preventing those who were 
there from accepting the ration, and endeavouring to draw everybody towards 
the Tuileries. The ringleaders at the same time circulated all sorts of 
rumours. They said that the Convention was on the point of starting for 
Chalons and leaving the people of Paris to their misery ; that the section of 
the Gravilliefs had been disarmed in the night ; that the young men had 
assembled, to the number of thirty thousand, in the Champ de Mars, and 
that with their aid all the patriot sections were about to be disarmed. They 
forced the authorities of the section of the Cite to give up its drums ; 
they took them away, and began to beat the generale in all the streets. 
The flame spread with rapidity : the population of the Temple and the 
fauxbourg St. Antoine turned out, and proceeding along the quays and the 
boulevard, directed its course towards the Tuileries. This formidable 
assemblage consisted of women, boys, and drunken men, the latter armed 
with bludgeons, and having this incription on their hats — Bread and the 
constitidion t}f 1793. 

At this moment, Boissy d'Anglas was reading to the Convention a report 
on the various systems adopted in regard to provisions. It had but its 
ordinary guard around it ; the mob had reached its doors ; it inundated the 
Carrousel and the Tuileries, and obstructed all the avenues, so that the nume- 
rous patroles scattered through Paris could not come to the aid of the national 
representation. The crowd entered the saloon of Liberty, which preceded 
the hall wherfc the Assembly met, and prepared to force its way into the 
latter. The ushers and the guard strove to stop them. Men, armed with 
cudgels, dashed forward, dispersed all who attempted to resist, rushed against 
the doors, burst them open, and poured like a torrent amidst the Assembly. 

VOL. III. — 28 T 


shouting, waving their hats, and raising a cloud of dust. Bread! bread ! 
The constitution of 1793 ! Such was the cry of the infuriated rabble. The 
deputies did not leave their seats, and displayed an imposing firmness. One 
of them suddenly rose, and cried. The republic forever ! All followed his 
exam][)le, and the mob also set up the same cry, but added, Bread! The 
constitution of 1793! The members of the left only bestowed some 
applause, and did not seem sorry to see the populace among them. That 
crowd, for which no plan had been chalked out, whose leaders wished only 
to make use of it to intimidate the Convention, introduced itself among the 
deputies, and sat down beside them, but without daring to commit any act 
of violence. Legendre began to speak. "If ever," said he, "malice—" 
He was not suffered to proceed. " Down ! down !" cried the rabble : " we 
have no bread !" Merlin of Thionville, still as courageous as at Mayence and 
in La Vendue, left his seat, went down among the populace, talked to several 
of those men, embraced and was embraced by them, and exhorted them to 
pay due respect to the Convention. " To Uiy place !" cried some of the 
Mountaineers. " My place," replied Merlin, " is among the people. These 
men have just assured me that they have no bad intention; that they havrf 
no wish to intimidate the Convention by their number : that, on the con- 
trary, they are ready to defend it, and that they have come hither merely to 
make it acquainted with their wants." — "Yes, yes," cried some of the 
crowd ; " we want bread." 

At these words shouts were heard in the saloon of Liberty : another 
popular billow had followed the first. It was a second irruption of men, 
women, and boys, shouting all at once, " Bread ! bread !" Legendre would 
have begun again what he was going to say ; but he was interrupted with 
cries of " Down ! down !" 

The Mountaineers were perfectly aware that in this state the Convention, 
oppressed, degraded, smothered, could neither listen, nor speak, nor delibe- 
rate,' and that the very aim of the insurrection was foiled, since the desired 
decrees could not be passed. Gaston and Duroi, both sitting on the left, 
rose, and complained of the state to which the Assembly was reduced. 
Gaston apprbached the populace. "My friends," said he, '"you want 
bread, the release of the patriots, and the constitution ; but for all this we 
must deliberate, and we cannot if you remain here." The noise prevented 
Gaston from being heard. Andre Dumont, who had succeeded the president 
in the chair, in vain attempted to give the same reasons to tlic mob. -He 
was not heard. Huguet, the Mountaineer, alone succeeded in gaining a 
hearing for a few words. " The people who are here," said he, " are not 
in insurrection ; they are come to make a just demand — the release of the 
patriots. People, relinquish not your rights !" At this moment, a man 
went up to the bar, passing through the crowd which opened before 
him. It was Vanec, who commanded the section of the Cite at Uie epoch 
of the 31st of May. " Representatives," said he, " you see before you the 
men of the 14th of July, of the 10th of August, and of the 3l8t of May — " 
Here the tribunes, the populace, and the Mountain applauded most vehe> 
mently. " These men," continued Vanec, " have sworn to live free or die 
Your divisions rend the country ; it ought not to suffer from your animosi- 
ties. Give liberty to the patriots and bread to the people. Do us justice 
upon Freron*s army and those gentlemen with cudgels. And as for thee, 
sacred Mountain," proceeded the speaker, turning towards the benches of 
the left, " for thee, who hast fought so many battles for th^ Republic, the 
men of the Htli of July, of the 10th of August, and of tlie Slst of Ma)r 


claim thee in this critical moment ; thou wilt find them ever ready to sup- 
port thee, every ready to spill their blood for the country." Shouts of 
applause accompanied the concluding words of Vanec. One voice in the 
assembly seemed to be raised against him, but it was scarcely distinguisha- 
ble. " Let him who has anything to say against Vanec, speak up, cried 
another. "Yes, yes," exclaimed Duhem, "let him say it aloud." The 
spokesmen of several sections succeeded one another at the bar, and made, 
but in more measured terms, similar demands to that of the Cit6. Dumont, 
the president, replied with firmness that the Convention would attend to the 
wishes and wants of the people, as soon as it could resume its deliberations. 
"Let it do so immediately," replied several voices ; "we are in want of 
bread." The tumult lasted thus for several hours. The president was 
exposed to remarks of all kinds. " Royalism is in the chair," said Chou- 
dieu* to him. "Our enemies are exciting the storm," replied Dumont; 
" they little think that the thunderbolt will fall upon their own heads." — 
" Yes," rejoined Ruamps, " that thunderbolt is your youth of the Palais- 
Royal."—" Bread ! bread !" furiously shouted the women. 

Meanwhile the tocsin was heard sounding from the Pavilion de I'Unite. 
The committees were actually calling together the sections agreeably to the 
new law of high police. Several of them had taken arms and were march- 
ing towards the Convention. The Mountaineers were well aware that no 
time ought to be lost in converting the wishes of the patriots into decrees ; 
but for this purpose it was necessary to clear the hall of the intruders, and 
to give the assembly room to breathe. "President," cried Duhem, "exhort 
the good citizens to withdraw, th^t we may be able to deliberate." He 
then addressed the people. " The tocsin has rung," said he, " the generate 
has beaten in tlie sections ; if you will not let us deliberate, the country is 
undone. Choudieu took a woman by the arm to lead her out. " We are in 
our own house," replied she angrily. Choudieu addressed the president, 
and told him that, if he was not capable of doing his duty and directing the 
hall to be cleared, he had only to give up the chair to another. He again 
turned to the people. " A snare is laid for you," said he ; " retire that we 
may fulfil your wishes." The people, observing signs of impatience shown 
by the whole Mountain, began to withdraw. The example oYice set was 
gradually followed. The crowd diminished in the interior of the hall, and 
it began also to diminish on the outside. The groups of young men would 
not this day have been able to cope with so immense a multitude ; but the 
numerous battalions of the faithful sections were already arriving from all 
quarters, and the mob retired before them. Towards evening, the hall was 
entirely cleared both within and without, and tranquillity restored in the Con- 

* " la consequence of his attack on Andr6 Dumont, who presided in the Convention, and 
of whom he said that ' Royalism occupied the arm-chair,' Choudieu was put under arrest, 
and confined in the castle of Ham, but quitted it in consequence of the amnesty which 
terminated the session of the Convention. In the year 1806 he was living in obscurity in 
Holland as a bookseller." — Biographic Modeme. E. 

•j" "The insurgents soon forced their way into the assembly; drunken women and 
abandoned proijtitutes formed the advanced guard ; but speedily a more formidable band 
of petitioners with pikes in their hands, filled every vacant space. Having penetrated to 
the bar, they commenced the most seditious harangues ; and ascending the benches of the 
members, seated themselves with the deputies of the Mountain. Everything announced the 
approach of a crisis. The Jacobins were recovering their former audacity, and the ma- 
jority of the assembly labouring under severe apprehension, were on the point of withdraw- 
ing, when fortunately a large body of the Troupe Dorce, who had assembled at the sound 


No sooner was it free from the mob, than it was proposed to continue the 
report of Boissy d'Anglas, wliich had been broken off by the irruption of 
the populace. The assembly did not yet feel quite secure^and it wished to 
prove that, when free, its first thought* were directed to the supply of the 
wants of the people. After he had finished his report, Boissy proposed 
that an armed force should be furnished by the sections of Paris, to protect 
in tlie environs the corn coming to the capital. The decree was adopt- 
ed. Prieur of La Mame proposed to commence the distribution of bread 
with tlie labouring people. This suggestion was likewise adopted. The 
evening was already far advanced. A considerable force was collecOed about 
the Convention. A few factious men, who still resisted, had assembled in 
the section of the Quinze-Vingts, a few others similarly inclined, in that of 
the Cit^. These latter had taken possession of the church of Notre-Dame, 
and, as it were, intrenched themselves there. No further apprehensions 
however were felt, afld the assembly possessed power to punish the mis- 
deeds of the day. 

Isabeau presented himself in the name of the committees, and made a re> 
port on the events of the day, the manner in which the assemblages had 
been formed, the direction which they had received, and the measures taken 
by the committees to disperse them, agreeably to the law of the 1st of Germi- 
nal. He stated that Auguis tlie deputy, who had been commissioned to visit 
the different quarters of Paris, had been stopped by the factious and wound- 
ed, and that Peniere, who was sent to extricate him, had also been wounded 
by a musket-shot. At this statement cries of indignation burst forth, and 
vengeance was demanded. Isabeau proposed, 1, to declare that on this day 
the freedom of the sittings of the Convention had been violated ; 2, to charge 
the committees to institute proceedings against the authors of that outrage. 
The Mountaineers, seeing what an advantage would be derived against them 
from an attempt which had miscarried, received this proposition with mur- 
murs. Three-fourths of the assembly arose, desiring that it should be put to 
the vote : they said that it was a 20th of June against tl^e national representa- 
tion ; that this day the hall of the assembly had been stormed, as the King's 
palace was stormed on the 20th of June ; and that, if they were not severe, 
a 10th of August would soon be prepared for the Convention. Sergent, a 
deputy of the Mountain, affected to impute this commotion to the Feuillans, 
to the Lameths, the Duports, who, from London, strove, he said, to excite 
the patriots to imprudent excesses. He was told that he was digressing. 
Thibaudeau, who, during this scene had withdrawn from the assembly, in- 
dignant at the outrage committed upon it, rushed to the tribune. " There it. 
is," he exclaimed pointing to tlie left side, " there is the minority that is 
conspiring! I declare that I absented myself for four hours, l>ccau8e I no 
longer saw tlie national representation here. I now return, and I support 
the projet. The time of weakness is past. It is the weakness of the na- 
tional representation that has always compromised it, and that has encou- 
raged a criminal faction. The salvation of the country is this day in your 
hands ; you will lose it if you are weak." The decree was adopted amidst 
applause ; and those paroxysms of rage and vengeance, which are excited by 
the recollection of dangers that have been incurred, began to burst forth on 
all sides. Andre Dumont, who had filled the chair during that stormy scene, 
mounted the tribune. He complained of the threats and insults to which he 

of the tocsin, entered the hall, chanting in loud strains the ' R6vei] du Pcuple.' The insur- 
fireats knew their roasters, and though lately so clamorous, gradually withdrew fiY>m the 
Coavention." — AUmm. E. 


had been exposed; he declared that Chales and Choudieu, pointing him out 
to the people, said that royalism was in the chair; that Foussedoire had pro- 
posed tlie preceding' day, in a group, to disarm the national guard. Fousse- 
doire contradicted him : but a great number of deputies asserted that they 
heard it. " For the rest," resumed Dumont, " I despise all those enemies 
who would have pointed the dagger against me. It is the chiefs whom you 
ought to strike. An attempt has to-day been made to save the Billauds, the 
Collots, the Barreres ; I shall not propose to you to send them to the scaf- 
fold, for tliey arc not vet tried, and the time of assassinations is past, but to 
banish them from the country, which they infect and agitate by seditions. I 
propose to you, this very night, the trans pol-tation of the four accused, 
whose cause has occupied you for several days past." This proposal was 
received with vehement applause. The members of the Mountain demand- 
ed a call of the Assembly, and several of them went to the bureau to 
sign the demand for it. ■' 'Tis the last effort," said Bourdon, " of a mino- 
rity whose treason is confounded. I propose to you, in addition, the arrest 
of Choudieu, Chales, and Foussedoire." The two propositions were then 
decreed. Thus terminated in transportation the long proceedings against 
Billaud, CoUot, Barrere, and Vadier.* Choudieu, Chales, and Foussedoire, 
were put under arrest. But the assembly did not stop there. It was recol- 
lected that Huguet, addressing the populace while it was pouring into the 
hall, had exclaimed, "People, forget not your rights!" that Leonard Bour- 
don had presided at the popular meeting in the Rue du Vert-Bois, and that 
he instigated to insurrection by his incessant declamations ; that Duhem 
openly encouraged the rioters during the irruption of the rabble ; that on the 
preceding days, he was seen at the Payen coffee-house, in the section of the 
Invalides, drinking with the ringleaders of the Terrorists and inciting them 
to insurrection. A decree of arrest was consequently passed against Huguet, 
Leonard Bourdon, and Duhem. Many others were denounced ; among these 
was Amar, the most obnoxious member of the old committee of general 
safety, and reputed to be the most dangerous of the Mountaineers. The 
Convention ordered the latter also to be arrested. In order to remove these 
leaders of the conspiracy, as they were called, from Paris, it was proposed 

• " After Billaud- Varennes reached his place of transportation at Cayenne, his life was a 
continued scene of romantic adventures. He escaped to Mexico, and entered, under the 
name of Polycarpus Varennes, the Dommican convent at Porto Rico. Being obliged to fly 
the continent for the part he took in the disputes between the Spanish colonies and the 
mother country, Pethion, then president of Hayti, not only afforded him an asylum, but 
made him his secretary. After Pethion's death, Boyer refusing to employ him, he went to 
the United States, and died at Philadelphia in 1819." — Universal Biogruphie. E. 

" Gollot-d'Herbois died in exile at Cayenne. He was found one day lying on the ground, 
with his face exposed to a burning sun, in a raging fever. The negroes who were appointed 
to carry him from Kouron to Cayenne, had thrown him down to perish. He expired, 
vomiting froth and blood, and calling upon that God whom he bad bo often renounced." — 
Pitoti's Voyage to Cayenne. E. 

" Barrere was employed in obscure situations by Napoleon, and was alive at Brussels, 
where he was living in great poverty in 1831. It was one of his favourite positions at that 
time, that ' the world could never be civilized till the punishment of death was utterly abo- 
lished, for no human being had the right to take away the life of another.' This was the 
man who said in 1792, 'The tree of liberty cannot flourish, if it is not watered by the blood 
of a king.' Before the Revolution Barrere was the Marquis de Vieusac with an ample for- 
tune." — Falkner's Travels in Germany. E. 

"Vadier contrived to conceal himself in Paris, and thereby avoided his sentence. He 
continued to re8i<1e in the capital up to the law of 1816, whon he was compelled to quit 
France. He died at Brussels in 1828 at the age of ninety-three." — ScotCa Life of Napo- 
leon. E. 


that they should be confined in the castle of Ham. The suggestion was 
adopted, and it was moreover decided that ttiey should be brought to trial 
immediately. It was then proposed to declare Paris in a state of siege till 
the danger should be entirely over. General Pichegru was at this moment 
in Paris, and in the full lustre of his glory. He was appointed commander 
of the armed force during tlie continuance of the danger, and Barras and 
Merlin of Thionville were appointed his assistants. It was six o'clock in 
the morning of the 13th of Germinal when the assembly, exhausted with 
fatigue, broke up, confiding in the measures which it had taken. 

The committees prepared to carry into execution without delay the decrees 
that had just been passed. That same morning, the three persons doomed 
to transportation were put into carriages, though one of them, Barrcre, was 
extremely ill, and sent off for Brest, by way of Orleans. The same prompti- 
tude was shown in despatching the seven deputies who were to be confined 
in the castle of Ham. The carriages had to pass through the Champs Ely- 
s^es ; the patriots knew this, and a crowd had collected on their way to stop 
them. When the carriages came up preceded by the gendarmerie, a numer- 
ous concourse gathered round them. Some said that it was the Convention 
retiring to Cha,lons, and carrying off the money in the treasury ; others said 
on the contrary that it was the patriot deputies unjustly torn from the bosom 
of the Convention, and whom no one had a right to remove from their func- 
tions. They surrounded the carriages, dispersed the gendarmerie, and con- 
ducted them to the civil committee of the section of the Champs Elys^es. 
At the same moment, anotlier mob rushed upon the post on duty at the Bar- 
ri^re de I'Etoile, seized the cannon, and pointed them upon the avenue. The 
officer commanding the gendarmerie attempted in vain to parley with the 
rioters ; he was assaulted and obliged to flee. He hastened to Gros-Caillou, 
to demand succour; but the artillerymen of tlie section threatened to fire upon 
him unless he retired. At this moment, headed by Pichegru, several bat- 
talions of the sections and several hundred young men arrived, proud of being 
commanded by so celebrated a general. The insurgents fired two cannon- 
shot, and kept up a brisk fire of small arms. Raffet, who on that day com- 
manded the sections, received a musket-shot close to the muzzle of the piece. 
Pichegru himself ran the greatest risks, and was twice aimed at. His pre- 
sence, however, and the confidence which he infused into those under his 
command, decided the victory. The insurgents were put to flight and the 
vehicles proceeded without further molestation. 

The assemblage in the section of the Quinze-Vingts, which had been 
joined by formed at the church of Notre Dame, still remained to be dis- 
persed. There the factious had constituted themselves a permanent assem- 
bly and were planning a new insurrection. Pichegru repaired thither, cleared 
the hall of the section, and completed tlie restoration of tlie public tran- 

On the following day he presented himself to the Convention, and in- 
formed it that its decrees were executed. Unanimous applause greeted the 
conqueror of Holland, who, by his presence in Paris had just rendered a 
fresh service to the state. " The conqueror of tyrants," replied the presi- 
dent, " could not fail to triumph over tlie factious." He received the frater- 
nal salute and Uie honours of the sitting ; and was exposed for several hours 
to the gaze of the assembly and of the public, every eye being fixed u{)on 
him alone. People did not inquire the cause of his conquests, or which of 
them were the effect of lucky accidents. They were struck by the results, 
and filled with admiration of so brilliant a career. 


This daring attempt of tlie Jacobins, which we cf^inot better characterize 
than by calling it a 20th of June, excited redoubled irritation, and provoked 
fresh repressive measures. A rigid scrutiny was ordered, for the discovery 
of all the springs of the conspiracy, which was erroneously attributed to the 
members of the Mountain. These latter had no communication with the 
popular agitators, and their intercourse with them was confined to a few 
accidental meetings in coffee-houses and some encouragement in words; 
nevertheless, the committee of general safety was commissioned to make a 
report. ' 

The conspiracy was supposed to be the moi« extensive, because there had 
been commotions in all the provinces washed by the Rhone and the Mediter- 
ranean, at Lyons, Avignon, Marseilles, and Toulon. The patriots had 
already been denounced as quitting the communes, where they had signal- 
ized themselves by excesses, and resorting in arms to the principal cities, 
either to escape the observation of their fellow-citizens, or to join their bre- 
thren there and to make common cause with them. It was asserted that they 
haunted the country bordering on the Rhone, that they were roving in nu- 
merous bands in the environs of Avignon, Nimes, and Aries, and in the plains 
of La Craux, and committing depredations on such of the inhabitants as were 
reputed to be royalists. To them was imputed the death of a wealthy indi- 
vidual, a magistrate of Avignon, who had been robbed and murdered. At 
Marseilles, they were scarcely repressed by the presence of the representa- 
tives, and by the measures which had been taken to place the city in a state 
of siege. At Toulon they had collected in great number, and formed an as- 
semblage of several thousand persons, nearly as the federalists had done at 
the time of General Cartaux's arrival. By their union with the employes of 
the marine, who had almost all been appointed by the younger Robespierre 
after the recapture of the place, they overawed the city. They had numer- 
ous partisans among the workmen in the arsenal, who amounted to more 
than twelve thousand : and taken collectively tliey possessed the means of 
committing the greatest excesses. At this moment the squadron, completely 
repaired, was ready to sail. Letourneur,* the representative, was on board 
the admiral's ship : land forces had embarked in the fleet, and the expedition 
was said to be destined for Corsica. The revolutionists, taking advantage 
of the moment when there was left only a weak garrison, which was not to 
be relied on, and among them they numbered many partisans, had assembled 
riotously, and murdered seven prisoners accused of emigration, in the very 
arms of the three representatives, Mariette, Ritter, and Chambon. At the 
close of Ventose, they attempted to repeat these outrages. Twenty prisoners, 
taken in an enemy's frigate, were in one of the forts ; they insisted that they 
were emigrants, whom the government intended to pardon. They raised 

* " Letourneur was bom in 1751 of a respectable but not noble family, anJ having early 
made some progress in mathematics, he entered the artillery corps in 1768, and attained the 
rank of captain. On the breaking out of the Revolution he embraced the popular party, and 
was appointed deputy to the legislature. He voted for the King's xleath ; but though attached 
to the Mountain, was never stained with any personal crime, and, from the downfall of the 
Girondins to that of Robespierre, preserved silence. In 1795 he was appointed commissioner 
of the fleet in the Mediterranean. In the same year he was appointed one of the Directory. 
In the year 1800, the Consuls appointed him prefect of the Lower Loire, whence in 1804 
he was recalled." — Biographic Modeme. E. 

" Letourneur had been an officer of engineers before the Revolution. He was a man of 
narrow capacity, little learning, and a weak mind. There were in the Convention five hun- 
dred deputies better qualified for public life, than he was ; but he was a man of strict probity, 
and left the Directory without any fortune." — Las Cases. E. 


tlie twelve thousand workmen belonging to the arsenal, and surrounded the 
representatives, who narrowly escaped with their lives, but were fortunately 
quelled by a battalion which was landed from the squadron. 

These occurrences, coinciding with those in Paris, increased the alarm of 
the government, and redoubled the severity. It had already enjoined all the 
members of the municipal administrations, of the revolutionary committees, 
and of the popular and military commissions, and all employes dismissed 
since the 9th of Thermidor, to quit the towns to which they had repaired, 
and to retire to their respective communes. A still more severe decree was 
levelled at them. They had obtained possession of arms distributed in mo- 
ments of danger. It was decreed that all those who were known in France 
to have contributed to the vast tyranny abolished on the 9th of Thermidor 
should be disarmed. To each municipal assembly, or to each sectional 
assembly, belonged the designation of the accomplices of that tyranny, and 
the task of disarming them. It is easy to conceive to what dangerous per- 
secutions this decree must expose them, at a moment when they had excited 
so violent a hatred. 

The government did not stop there. It determined to take from them 
the pretended chiefs whom they had on the benches of the Mountain. 
Though the three principal had been condemned to transportation, though 
seven more, Choudieu, Chales, Foussedoire, Leonard Bourdon, Huguet, 
Duhem, and Amar, had been sent to the castle of Ham, still it was thought 
that others quite as formidable were left. Cambon, the dictator of the finances, 
and the inexorable adversary of the Thermidorians, whom he never forgave 
for daring to attack his integrity, appeared troublesome at least. • He was 
even supposed to be dangerous. It was asserted that on the morning of the 
12th he had said to the clerks of the treasury, •' There are three hundred of 
you here, and in case of danger you will be able to make resistance" — words 
which he was likely enough to have uttered, and which would prove his 
conformity of sentiments, not his complicity, with the Jacobins. Thuriot, 
formerly a Thermidorian, but who had again become a Mountaineer since 
the readmission of the seventy-three and twenty-two, and a deputy possess- 
ing great influence, was also considered as a chief of the faction. Under the 
same head were placed Cnissous, who had become one of the most ener- 
getic supporters of the Jacobins ; Lesaye-Senault, who had contributed to 
cause their club to be shut up, but who had since Liken alarm at the rearti<m ; 
Lecointre of Versailles, the declared adversary of Hillaud, CoUot, and Har- 
rire, and who had rejoined the Mountain since the return of the Girondins ; 
Maignet, the incendiary of the SotUh ; Hentz, the terrible proconsul of fja 
Vendue ; Levasseur of La Sarthe, one of those who had contributed to the 
death of Philipeaux, and Granetof Marseilles, accused of being the instigator 
of the revolutions of the South. It was Tallien, who designated tliem, and 
who, after picking them out in the very tribune of the a8seml)ly, insisted on 
their being arrested like their seven colleagues and sent with them to Ham. 
Tallien's desire was complied with, and they were doomed to suffer the 
same imprisonment. 

Thus this movement of the patriots caused them to be persecuted, dis- 
armed throughout all France,* sent to their respective commtmes, and to lose 
a score of Mountaineers, some of whom were transported and others confined. 

• " Many of the provinccg of Franwi hooame acenrs of rountcr-revolulionary exceaws, of 
the rame character, and almost as terrihl<>, an thoae of the rrvolutinnary committrefi them- 
Mlves. MaaaacTM in maaa, private amaminatinns, were the nnlrr of the tlaj. TTiUf the in- 
fliction of cruehj and terror went its round, tod ww not confined to anjt particular claM or 


Every movement of a party that is not strong enough to conquer serves only 
to accelerate its ruin. 

The Thermidorians, after they had punished persons, attacked things. 
The commission of seven, charged to report upon the organic laws of the 
constitution, declared without reserve that tlie constitution was so genenJ 
that it wanted framing anew. A commision of eleven was then appointed to 
present a new plan. Unfortunately the victories of their adversaries, instead 
of reducing the revolutionists to order, only tended to inflame them still 
more, and to excite them to fresh and dangerous efforts. 




DcRiNG these melancholy events, the negotiations at Basle had been in- 
terrupted for a moment by the death of Baron de Goltz. The most sinister 
rumours were immediately circulated. One day, it was said, the powers 
will never treat with a republic constantly threatened by factions ; they 
will leave it to perish in the convulsions of anarchy, without fighting and 
witliout acknowledging it. Another day, the very contrary was asserted. 
Peace, it was said, is concluded with Spain ; the French armies will go no 
farther : we are treating with England, we are treating with Prussia, but at 
the expense of Sweden and Denmark, wlio are about to be sacrificed to the 
ambition of Pitt and Catherine, and who will be repaid in this manner for 
their friendship to France. We see that malice, differing in its reports, 
always imagined the very contrary to that which was most consistent with 
the interest of the republic; it supposed ruptures where peace was wished 
for, and peace where victories were desired. At another time again, it was 
pleased to report that any peace was for ever impossible, and that a protest 
on this subject had been placed in the hands of the committee of public wel- 
fare by the majority of the members of the Convention. It was a new sally 
of Duhem's that had given rise to this rumour. He pretended that it was a 
mere shuffling to treat with a single power, and that peace ought not to be 
granted to any till they should come to demand it all together. He had de- 
livered a note on this subject to the committee of public welfare, and it was 
this that had given rise to the rumour of a protest. 

The patriots, on their part, circulated reports not less annoying. They 
alleged that Prussia was spinning out the negotiations, for the purpose of 
getting Holland included in one common treaty with herself, in order to keep 
her under her influence, and to save the stadtholdership. They complained 

side, but was the consequence of the maddening spirit and delirium of the time, and the 
hatred of the different factions towards each other." — Hazlitt. E. 
▼OL. III. — 29 

826 IfinSTOTlY OF THE 

that the fate of that republic remained so long unsettled ; that the French 
there enjoyed none of the advantages of conquest; that the assignats were 
there taken at not more than half their value, and from the soldiers only ; 
that the Dutch merchants had written to the Belgian and French - merchants, 
that they were ready to transact business with them, Init only on condition 
of being paid in advance, and in specie ; that the Dutch had allowed the 
stadtholder to go off with just what he pleased, and had sent part of their 
wealth to London in ships belonging to the East India Company. Many 
difficulties had, in fact, arisen in Holland, either on account of the conditions 
of the peace, or owing to the excitement of the patriotic party. The com- 
mittee of public welfare had sent thither two of its members, capable by 
their influence of terminating all the differences which had arisen. For fear 
of prejudicing the negotiation, it had begged the Convention to excuse it 
from stating either their names or the object of their mission. The Assem- 
bly had complied, and they had set out immediately. 

It was natural that such important events and such high interests should 
excite hopes and fears, and contrary reports. Bftt, in spite of all these ru- 
mours, the conferences were continued with success. Count Hardenberg* 
had succeeded Baron de Goltz at Basle, and the conditions were nearly 
arranged on both sides. 

Scarcely had these negotiations commenced when the empire of facts was 
sensibly felt', and required modifications in the powers of the committee of 
public welfare. A perfectly open government which could not conceal any- 
thing, could not decide anything of itself, could do nothing without a public 
deliberation, would be incapable of negotiating a treaty with any power, how 
frank soever it might be. For treating, signing suspensions of arms, neu- 
tralizing territories, secrecy is most especially necessary; for a power some- 
times negotiates long before it suits it to avow that fact : this is not all ; 
there are frequently articles which must absolutely remain unknown. If a 
power promises, for example, to unite its forces with those of another, if it 
stipulates either the junction of an army, or that of a squadron, or any con- 
currence whatever of means, this secret becomes of the utmost importance. 
How could the committee of public M'elfare, renewed in the proportion of 

• " Charles Augustus, Baron and afterwards Prince Hardenberg, Prussian chancellor of 
state, was born in 1750, and, after having completed his studies at Lcipsic and Guttingen, 
entered into the civil service of his country in 1770. He passed several years in travel, par- 
ticularly in England, and in 177S was made a privy councillor, but a misunderstanding with 
one of the English princes induced him to resign his place in 1782 and to enter the service 
of Brunswick. The duke sent him to Berlin in 1786 with the will of Frederick II. which 
had been deposited with him. A few years afterwards Count Hardenberg was made Prus- 
sian minister of state, and then cabinet minister. In 1795 he signed the treaty of peace be- 
tween the French republic and Prussia, on the part of the latter. At the couuDeooeroent of 
the present century, Berlin became the centre of many negotittioM bstsr e a n dM AOitiMni 
poweis, in which Hardenberg played a conspicuous part. In comeqaenos of the ilissstow 
which Prussia met with in her contests with Napoleon, he resigned his post, but in the year 
1806 once more resumed the portfolio. In 1810 the King of Prussis appointed him prime 
minister. In 1814 he signed the peace of Paris, and was created prince. He went to Lon- 
don with the sovereigns, and was one of the most prominent actors at the congress of Vienna. 
He was subsequently the active agent in all matters in which Prussia took part. While Oa 
a journey in the north of luly, he fell sick ut Pavia, and died in 1822. I'rince Hardenberg 
was an active minister of the Holy Alliance ; but his abolition of feudal flcrvioea and privi' 
leges in Prussia will always Im: remembered to his honour. He patronized the sciences mu* 
niftcently ; loved power, but was just in his administration. He wrote ' Memoirs of his 
own Times from 1801 to the peace uf Tilsit.' He was twice married." — Encyclopaedia 
Americana, £. 



one-Fourth every month, obliged to render an account of everything, and not 
possessing the energy or the boldness of the old committee — how could it 
have negotiated, especially with powers ashamed of their blunders, reluctant 
to admit their defeat, and all insisting on either leaving secret conditions, or 
not publishing their treaty until it should be signed ! The necessity which 
it felt for sending two of its members to Holland, without making known 
either their names or their mission, was a first proof how essential an ingre- 
dient secrecy is in diplomatic operations. It presented, in consequence, a 
decree which gave rise to fresh rumours, and which conferred on it the 
powers indispensably necessary for treating. 

A curious spectacle for the theory of governments is that of a democracy, 
surmounting its indiscreet curiosity, its distrust of power, and, constrained 
by necessity, granting to a few individuals the faculty of even stipulating 
secret conditions. This the National Convention did. It conferred on the 
committee of public welfare the power of concluding armistices, neutralizing 
territories, negotiating treaties, stipulating their conditions, drawing them up, 
and even signing them, "Without reserving to itself any more than was its 
due, that is, the ratification. It did still more. It authorized the committee 
to sign secret articles, on the sole condition that these articles should contain 
nothing derogatory to the open articles, and should be published as soon as 
the interest of secrecy ceased to exist. Invested with these powers, the 
committee prosecuted and concluded the negotiations commenced with dif- 
ferent states. 

The peace with Holland was at length signed under the influence of Rew- 
bel,* and especially of Sieyes, who were the two members of the committee 
recently sent to that country. The Dutch patriots gave a brilliant reception 
to the celebrated author of the first declaration of rights, and paid him a defe- 
rence which put an end to many difiiculties. The conditions of peace, 
signed at the Hague on the 27th of Floreal (May 16), were the following: 
The French republic acknowledged the republic of the United Provinces as 
a free and independent power, and guaranteed its independence and the abo- 
lition of the stadtholdership. There was to be an alliance, offensive and 
defensive, between the two republics during the present war. This offensive 
and defensive alliance was to be perpetual between the two republics in all 
cases of war against England. That of the United Provinces placed imme- 
diately at the disposal of France twelve ships of the line and eighteen frigates, 
to be employed principally in the German Ocean and the Baltic. It gave, 
moreover, in aid of France half its land army, which indeed had dwindled 
almost to nothing, and required to be completely reorganized. As to the 
demarcations of territory, they were fixed as follows : France was to keep 
all Dutch Flanders, so as to complete her territory towards the sea, and to 
extend it to the mouths of the rivers. Towards the Meuse and Rhine, she 
was to have possession of Venloo and Maestricht and all the country to the 
south of Venloo, on both sides of the Meuse. Thus the republic relinquished 

• " Rewbel," said Napoleon, " bom in Alsace, was one of the best lawyers in the town of 
Colmar. He possessed that kind of intelligence which denotes a man skilled in the practice 
of the bar. His influence was always felt in deliberations ; he was easily inspired with 
prejudices ; did not believe much in the existence of virtue ; and his patriotism was tinged 
with a degree of enthusiasm. He bore a particular hatred to the Germanic system ; displayed 
great energy in the Assemblies, both before and after the period of his being a magistrate; 
and was fond of a life of application and activity. He had been a member of the Constituent 
Assembly and of the Convention. Like all lawyers he hud imbibed from his profession a 
prejudice against the army." — Las Cases. E. 


the idea of extending itself on this point to the Rhine, which was reasonable. 
On this side, in fact, the Rhine, the Meuse, and the Scheldt, blend in such 
a manner that there is no precise boundary. Which of these arms ought to 
be considered as the Rhine ? We cannot tell, and on this point all is matter 
of convention. Besides, in this quarter, France is not threatened by any 
hostility but that of Holland, an hostility far from formidable, so that a 
marked boundary is no longer a necessary guarantee. Lastly, the territory 
allotted by nature to Holland consisting of tracts formed by alluvions carried 
to the mouths of the rivers, France, in order to extend herself to one of the 
principal streams, must have seized three-fourths at least of those tracts, and 
reduced nearly to nothing the republic which she had just liberated. The 
Rhine does not become a boundary for France in regard to Germany till near 
Wesel, and the possession of the two banks of the Meuse to the south of 
Venloo left that question untouched. The French republic, moreover, 
reserved to itself a right, in case of war towards the Rhine or Zealand, of 
putting garrisons into the forttesses of Grave, Bois-le-Duc, and Bergen-Op- 
Zoom. The port of Flushing was to belong in common to both. Thus all 
precautions were taken. The navigation of the Rhine, the Meuse, the Scheldt, 
the Hondt, and all their branches, was declared thenceforward and forever 
free. Besides these advantages, an indemnity of one hundred millions of 
florins was to be paid by Holland. To compensate the latter for her sacri- 
fices, France promised, at the general pacification, indemnities of territory 
taken from the conquered countries, and in a situation most suitable for the 
clear demarcation of the reciprocal boundaries. 

This treaty rested on the most reasonable basis. The conqueror showed 
himself in it equally generous and skilful. It has been vainly argued that, 
in attaching Holland to her alliance, France exposed her to the loss of half 
her vessels detained in the ports of England, and especially of her colonies, 
left defenceless to the ambition of Pitt. Holland, if left neutral, would neither 
have recovered her shipping nor retained her colonies, and Pitt would still 
have found a pretext for seizing them on behalf of the stadtholder. The mere 
retaining of the stadtholdership, without saving in a certain manner the Dutch 
ships or colonies, would have deprived English ambition of all pretext; but 
was the retaining of the stadtholdership, with the political principles of 
France, with the promises given to the Batavian patriots, -with the spirit 
which animated them, or with the hopes conceived by them when Uiey 
opened their gates to us, either possible, consistent, or even honourable ? 

The conditions with Pnissia were more easy to settle. BischofTwerder 
had just been thrown into confinement. The King of Prussia, delivered 
from mystics, had conceived a perfectly new ambition. He no longer 
aspired to save the principles of general order, but to become the mediator of 
universal pacification. The treaty with him was signed at Basle on 'the Idth 
of Germinal (April 5, 1795). In the first place, it was agreed that there 
«hould be peace, amity, and good understanding, between his majesty the 
King of Prussia and the French reptiblic ; that the troops of the latter should 
evacuate that part of the Prussian territories which they occupied on the 
right bank of the Rhine ; that they should continue to occupy the Prussian 

Srovinces on the left hank, and that the lot of those provinces should not be 
efinitively fixed till the general pacification. From this last condition it was 
very evident that the republic, without yet speaking ont positively, thought 
of giving itself the boundary of the Rhine ; but that, till it should have 
gained fresh victories over the states of the Empire and Austria, it deferred 
the solution of the difficulties to which this iraoortant determination must 


have given rise. Not till tlien would it be able either to eject the one, or to 
give indemnities to the others. The French republic engaged to accept the 
mediation of the King of Prussia for the purpose of reconciling it witli the 
princes and states of the German empire ; it even engaged, for tlie space of 
three months, not to treat as enemies such of the princes of the right bank 
in whose behalf his Prussian majesty should interest himself. This was a 
sure way to induce the whole empire to solicit peace through tlie mediation 
of Prussia. 

Accordingly, immediately after the signing of this treaty, the cabinet of 
Berlin caused its determination and the motives which had swayed it, to be 
solemnly communicated to the Empire. It declared to the diet that it ten- 
dered its good offices to the Empire if it were desirous of peace ; and, if 
the majority of the states refused it, to such of them as should be obliged to 
treat for their individual safety. Austria, on her part, addressed some very 
severe remarks to the diet : she said that she desired peace as much as any 
one, but tliat she believed it to be impossible ; that she would choose the fit 
moment for treating; and that the states of the Empire would find many 
more advantages in relying upon old Austrian faith than upon perjured 
powers, which had violated all their engagements. The diet, to give itself 
the air of preparing for war, at the same time that it solicited peace, decreed 
the quintuple contingent for the ensuing campaign, and stipulated that the 
states which could not furnish soldiers, should be released from the obliga- 
tion on paying two hundred and forty florins per man. At the same time, 
it decided that Austria, having just contracted with England for the continu- 
ance of the war, could not be the mediatrix of peace, and resolved to confide 
that mediation to Prussia. There was nothing more to be settled but the 
form and the composition of the deputation. 

Notwithstanding this strong desire to treat, the Empire could not well do 
so eti masse ; for it must have required for its members stripped of their 
territories restitutions which France could not make without renouncing the 
line of the Rhine. But it was evident that, in this impossibility to treat col- 
lectively, each prince would throw himself into the arms of Prussia, and 
through her mediation make his separate peace. 

Thus the republic began to disarm its enemies and to force them to peace. 
None were bent upon war but those who had sustained great losses, and 
who had no hopes of recovering by negotiation what they had lost by arms. 
Such could not fail to be the dispositions of the princes of the left bank 
despoiled of their territories, of Austria, deprived of the Netherlands, of Pied- 
mont, ejected from Savoy and Nice. Those, on the contrary, who had had 
the good sense to preserve their neutrality, congratulated themselves every 
day on their prudence, and the profits which it brought ihem. Sweden and 
Denmark were about to send ambassadors to the Convention. Switzerland, 
which had become the entrepot of the trade of the continent, persisted in its 
wise arrangements, and addressed, through M. Ochs, these sensible observa- 
tions to Barthelemy,* the envoy : " Switzerland is necessary to France, and 

• " Francois Barthelemy, nephew of the celebrated author of the ' Travels of Anacharsis,' 
waa brought up under the direction of his uncle, and at the cnmmencenient of the Revolu- 
tion was sent as ambassador to England, to notify to the court that Louis XVL had accepted 
the constitution. In 1791 he went to Switzerland in the same character; in 1795 he nego- 
tiated and signed a peace with Prussia, and in the same year a similar treaty with Spain. In 
1797 he was elected into the Directory, but was involved in the downfall of the Clichyan 
party. After the Revolution of the 18th of Brumaire, Barthelemy became a member of the 
conserrati ve senate, and was soon afterwards called to the Institute." — Biogruphie Moderm, £. 



France to Switzerland. There is, in fact, every reason to suppose that, but 
for the Helvetic confederation, the wrecks of the ancient kingdoms of Ijor- 
raine. Burgundy, and Aries, would not have been united with the French 
dominions ; and one can scarcely help believing that, but for the powerful 
diversion and decided interference of France, the eflfort? made to stifle Hel- 
vetic liberty in its cradle would have proved successful." The neutrality of 
Switzerland had in fact recently rendered an eminent sen'ic* to France, 
and contributed to save her. To these observations M. Ochs added others 
not less elevated : '« People," said he, " will perhaps some day admire that 
sentiment of natural justice, which, inducing us to abhor all foreign influ- 
ence in the choice of our own forms of goverranent, forbids us for that very 
reason to set ourselves up for judges of the mode of public administration 
chosen by our neighbours. Our forefathers neither censured the great vas- 
sals of the German empire for having swallowed up the imperial power, nor 
the royal authority of France for having curbed the great vassals. They 
successively saw the French nation represented by the States-general ; the 
Richelieus and the Mazarins seize absolute power; Louis XIV. appropriate 
to himself the entire power of the nation ; and the parliaments aspire to share 
the public authority in the name of the people ; but never were they heard, 
with rash voice, recalling the French government to this or that period of its 
history. The happiness of France was their wish, her unity their hope, and 
the integrity of her territory their support." 

These elevated and just principles were a severe censure of the policy of 
Europe, and the results which Switzerland reaped from them were a very 
striking demonstration of their wisdom. Austria, jealous of her commerce, 
strove to cramp it by a cordon ; but Switzerland complained to AVurtemberg 
and the neighbouring states, and obtained justice. 

The Italian powers wished for peace, such of tliem at least whose impru- 
dence was likely to expose them some day to disastrous consequences. 
Piedmont, though exhausted, had lost enough to desire to have recourse 
once more to arms. But Tuscany, forced in spite of herself to give up her 
neutrality by the English ambassador, who, threatening her with an English 
squadron, had allowed her but twelve hours to decide, was impatient to 
resume her part, especially since Vlie French were at the gates of Genoa. 
The grand-duke had consequently opened a negotiation, which terminated 
in a treaty, the easiest to conclude of any. Good understanding and friend- 
ship were re-established between the two states, and the grand-duke restored 
to the republic the corn which had been taken from the French in his ports, 
at the moment of the declaration of war. This restitution he had made of 
his own accord, even before the negotiation. This treaty, bene6cial to 
France for the trade of the South, and especially that in com, was concluded 
on the 21st of Pluviose (February 9). 

Venice, who had withdrawn her envoy from France, intimated that she 
was about to appoint another, and to despatch him to Paris. The Pope ex- 
pressed regret for the outrages committed on the French. The Court of 
Naples, led astray by the passions of an insensate queen and the intrigues 
of England, was far from thinking of negotiating, and promised ridicoioM 
succours to the coalition. 

Spain still had need of peace, and seemed to be only waiting to be forced 
into it by new reverses. 

A negotiation, not less important perhaps for the mbral effect which it was 
likely to produce, was tliat begun at Nantes with the insurgent provinces. 
We have seen that tlic chiefs of La Vendue, divided among themselves. 


almost deserted by their peasants, accompanied only by a few determined 
warriors, pressed on all sides by the republican generals, compelled to choose 
between an amnesty and utter destruction, had been led to treat for peace. 
We have seen tliatCharette had agreed to an interview near Nantes ; that the 
pretended Baron de Cormatin, Puisaye's major-general, had come forward 
as tlie mediator of Bretagne ; that he travelled with Humbert, wavering be- 
tween the wish to deceive the republicans, to concert with Charette, to 
seduce Canclaux, and the ambition to be the pacificator of those celebrated 
provinces. The common rendezvous was appointed at Nantes. The coa- 
ferences were to begin at the castle of La Jaunaye, a league from that city^ 
on the 24th of Pluvoise (February 12). 

Cormatin, on his arrival at Nantes, was anxious to put Puisaye's letter 
into the hands of Canclaux ; but this man, who reckoned upon tricking the 
republicans, was not clever enough even to keep this most dangerous letter 
from their knowledge. It was discovered and published, and he was obliged 
to declare that the letter was spurious, that he was not the bearer of it, and 
that he had come in all sincerity to negotiate a peace. By these professions 
he became more deeply implicated than ever. He dropped the part of a 
skilful diplomatist, duping tlie republicans, conferring with Charette, and 
seducing Canclaux ; tliat of peace-maker only was now left him. He saw 
Charette, and found him compelled by his position to treat for the moment 
with the enemy. From that instant, Cormatin fell to work in good earnest 
to bring about a peace. It was agreed that it should be a feigned one, and 
that, till England should fulfd her promises, they should appear to submit 
to the republic. They intended to obtain for the moment the best possible 
conditions. As soon as the conferences were opened, Cormatin and Charette 
delivered a note in which they demanded freedom of religion, sufficient pen- 
sions for the support of all the ecclesiastics of La Vendee, exemption frorii 
military service and taxes for ten years, in order to repair the calamities of 
the war, indemnities for all devastations, the discharge of the engagements 
contracted by the generals for the supply of their armies, the re-establish- 
ment of the old territorial divisions of the country, and its former mode of 
administration, the formation of territorial guards under the command of the 
existing commanding generals, the removal of all the republican armies, tlie 
exclusion of all the inhabitants of La Vendee who had left tlie country as 
patriots, and of whose property the royalists had taken possession, and lasUy, 
a general amnesty for the emigrants as well as the Vendeans. Such demands 
were absurd and could not be admitted. The representatives granted free- 
dom of religion, indemnities for those whose cottages had been destroyed, 
exemption from service for the young men of the present requisition, in order 
to repeople the country, the formation of territorial guards under the direc- 
tion of the administration to the number of two thousand only ; the payment 
of the bonds signed by the generals to the amount of two millions. But 
they refused the re-establishment of the old territorial divisions and the old 
administrations, the exemption from taxes for ten years, the removal of the 
republican armies, and the amnesty for the emigrants ; and they required the 
restoration of their property to the Vendean patriots. They stipulated more- 
over that all these concessions should be introduced not into a treaty but into 
ordinances (arr^tes) issued by the representatives on mission, and that the 
Vendean generals, on their part, should sign a declaration recognising the 
republic and promising to submit to its laws. A last conference was fixed 
for the 29th of Pluviose (February 17,) for the truce was to end on the 30th. 

It was proposed that, before peace was concluded, Stofiiet should be 


invited to these conferences. Several royalist officers wished this beesnM 
they thought that it was not right to treat without him ; the representatives 
wished it also, because they were desirous of including all La Vendue in the 
same negotiation. Stofflet was directed by the ambitious Bernier, who was 
far from being favourably disposed towards a peace that must deprive him 
of all his influence. Stofflet, moreover, disliked playing the second part, 
and he saw with vexation this whole negotiation begun and carried on with- 
out him. He consented, nevertheless, to attend the conferences, and he 
repaired to La Jaunaye with a great number of his officers. 

The tumult was great. The partisans of peace and diose of war were 
much exasperated against one another. The former gathered round Charette; 
they said that those who wished to continue the war were men who never 
went into action ; that the country was ruined and reduced to extremity; that 
the foreign powers had done nothing for them, and that it was extremely 
improbable any succours would ever come from them. They added, (but 
this they merely whispered to one another,) that they must wait and gain 
time by a feigned peace, and that if England ever performed her promises 
they would be quite ready to rise. The partisans of war said, on the con- 
trary, that, if the republicans offered them peace, it was only to disarm them, 
then violate all promises, and sacrifice them with impunity; that, if they 
were to lay down their arms for a moment, they should depress the courage 
of their people, and render any insurrection impracticable for the future ; that, 
since the republic negotiated, it was a proof that it was also reduced to ex- 
tremity ; that, by waiting a moment and displaying firmness a little longer, they 
should be enabled to attempt great things with the assistance of the foreign 
powers ; that it was unworthy of French gentlemen to sign a treaty with the 
secret intention of not fulfilling it ; aiid that, moreover, they had no right to 
recognise the republic, for that would be to deny llie rights of the princes for 
whom they had so long been fighting. 

Several very animated conferences took place, at which considerable irri- 
tation was manifested on both sides. For a moment indeed violent tiireats 
were exchanged by the partisans of Charette and those of Stofflet, and they, 
had nearly come to blows. Cormatin was not the least ardent of the partisans 
of peace. His fluency of speech, his agitation of body and mind, his quality of 
representative of the army of Bretagne, had drawn attention to him. Unfortu- 
nately for him, he had about him a person named Solilhac, whom the central 
committee of Bretagne had directed to accompany him. Solilhac, astonished to 
sec Cormatin play so different a part from that which he had been directed, and 
wliich he had promised to perforin, observed to him that he was deviating from 
his instructions, and that he had not been sent to treat for peace. Cormatin 
was extremely embarrassed. Stofflet and the partisans of war triumphed, when 
they learned that Bretagne was thinking rather of contriving a delay and of 
concerting with La Vendee than of submitting. They declared that they 
would never lay down their arms, since Bretagne had determined to support 
them. On the morning of the 20th of Pluvoise (February 17) the oouncQ 
of tlie army of Anjou met in a separate room in the castle of La Jaunaye, to 
adopt a definitive determination. The chiefs of Stofilet's division drew their 
swords, and swore to cut the throat of the first who should talk of peace ; 
they decided upon war. Charette, Sapinaud, and their officers, in another 
room, decided upon peace. At noon they were both to meet the representa- 
tives of the people in a tent pitched in the plain. Stofflet. not daring to de- 
clare to their faces the determination which he had ^opted, sent to them to 
say that he should not accede to their proposals. About noon the meeting 



was to take place. The representatives left the detachment which accom- 
panied them at the distance agreed upon, and proceeded to the tent. Charette 
left his Vendeans at tlie same distance, and brought witli him only his prin- 
cipal officers to the rendezvous. Meanwhile, Stofflet was seen mounting a 
liorse, with some furious partisans who accopipanied him, and galloping off, 
waving his hat, and shouting Vive le Roil In the tent where Charette and 
Sapinaud were conferring witli the representatives, there was nothing more 
to discuss, for the ultimatum of the representatives was accepted beforehand. 
The declarations agreed upon were reciprocally signed. Charette, Sapinaud, 
Connatin, and the other officers, signed their submission to the laws of the 
republic ; the representatives gave the ordinances containing the conditions 
granted to the Vendean chiefs. The greatest politeness prevailed on both 
sides, and everything seemed to promise a sincere reconciliation. 

The representatives, with a view to give great eclat to the submission of 
Charette, prepared for hini a magnificent reception at Nantes. The greatest 
joy pervaded that entirely patriot city. People flattered themselves that the 
destructive civil war was at length brought to a conclusion. They exulted 
in seeing a man so distinguished as Charette return into the bosom of the 
republic, perhaps to devote his sword to its service. On the day appointed 
for his formal entry, the national guard and the army of the West were under 
arms. All the inhabitants, full of joy and curiosity, thronged to see and to do 
honour to the celebrated chief. He was received with shouts of The republic 
forever! Charette for ever! He wore his uniform of Vendean general 
and the tricoloured cockade. Charette was harsh, distrustful, artful, intrepid. 
All this was discernible in his features and in his person. Of middle stature, 
a small bright eye, a nose turned up in the Tartar style, and a wide mouth, 
gave him an expression the most singular and the most accordant with his 
character.* Each of those who ran to see him strove to divine his senti- 
ments. The royalists fancied that they could read embarrassment and 
remorse in his face. The republicans thought him overjoyed and almost 
intoxicated with his triumph. Well he might be, in spite of the embarrass- 
ment of his position , for his enemies procured him the fairest and the first 
reward that he had yet received for his exploits. 

No sooner was this peace signed, than preparations were made for reduc- 
ing Stofflet and for compelling the Chouans to accept the conditions granted 
to Cliarette. The latter appeared to be sincere in his proceedings. He 
circulated proclamations in the country, to induce all the inhabitants to return 
to their duty. The people were overjoyed at this peace. The men who 
had irrevocably devoted themselves to war were formed into territorial 
guards, and the command of them was left to Charette. These were to 
constitute the police of the country. This was an idea of Heche's, which 
had been disfigured to satisfy the Vendean chiefs, who, harbouring at once 
secret schemes and distrust, wished to keep the men most inured to war 
under their own orders. Charette even promised assistance against Stofflet, 
in case the latter, pressed in Upper Vendee, should fall back upon the Marais. 

* " Charette was slight and of a middle height, and had a fierce air and severe look. He 
may justly be considered as one of the causes of the ruin of his party. His jealousy of 
d'Elbce and Bonchamp, who had greater political and military talents than he, disunited the 
forces of the royalists and injured their success; while even in his own army his severity 
alienated his troops ; and his harshness towards priests, whom he had the indiscretion to 
remove from him, destroyed the enthusiasm so necessary in a war like that which he had 
undertaken. Such was the public interest he excited throughout France, that shortly after 
his death, his waistcoat and pantaloons were sold for twenty-seven guineas," — Biographi* 
Modeme, E. 

VOL. iii.^ — 30. u 2 


General Canclaux was immediately despatched in pursuit of Stofflet. 
Leaving only a corps of observation around Charette's country, he marched 
the greater part of his troops upon Layon. Stoffiet, with a view to produce 
a sensation by a grand stroke, made an attempt on Chalonne, which was 
spiritedly repulsed, and fell bade upon St. Florent, He proclaimed Charette 
a traitor to the cause of royalty, and pronounced sentence of death upon him. 
The representatives, who knew that such a war was to be terminated not 
merely by the employment of arms, but by giving the ambitious an interest 
in its cessation, by afibrding succour to men destitute of resources, had also 
distributed money. The committee of public welfare had opened a credit in 
their favour on its secret funds. They gave 60,000 francs in specie, and 
365,000 in assignats, to various officers of StofHet's. His major-general, 
Trotouin, received 100,000 francs, half m money, half in assignats, and 
separated from him. He wrote a letter addressed to the army of Anjou, 
exhorting them to peace, and urging such reason3 as were most likely to 
have an effect upon them. 

While such means were employed upon the army of Anjou, the repre- 
sentatives who had been engaged in the pacification of La Vendue repaired 
to Bretagne, to induce the Chouans to enter into a similar negotiation. 
Cormatin accompanied them. He was now attached in good earnest to the 
system of peace, and he was ambitious of making a triumphal entry into 
Rennes, as Charette had done at Nantes. Notwithstanding the truce, many 
acts of pillage had been committed by the Chouans. Being generally mere 
robbers, without attachment to any cause, caring very little about the political 
views which had induced their chiefs to sign a suspension of arms, they took 
no pains to observe it, and thought of nothing but obtaining booty. Some 
of the representatives, on seeing the conduct of the Bretons, began to distrust 
their intentions, and were already of opinion that they must renounce all idea 
of peace? Of these Boursault was the most decided. On the other hand* 
Bollet, a zealous peace-maker, conceived that, notwithstanding some acts of 
hostility, an accommodation was possible, and that mild means only ought 
to be employed. Hoche, hurrying from cantonments to cantonments, eighty 
leagues apart, never giving himself a moment's rest, placed between the 
representatives who were in favour of war and those who were in favour of 
peace, between the Jacobins of the towns, who accused him of weakness 
and treason, and the royalists who charged him with barbarity — Hoche was 
filled with disgust, though his zeal was by no means quenched. " You wish 
me another campaign of the Vosges," he wrote to one of his friends; "how 
would you make such a campaign against the Chouans and almost without 
an army ?" This young officer saw his talents wasted on an ungrateful war, 
while generals, altogether inferior to himself, were immortilizing themselves 
in Holland and on the Rhine, at the head of the finest armies of the republic. 
He nevertheless prosecuted his task with ardour, and with a profound know- 
ledge of men and of his own situation. We have veen tliat he had already 
given the most judicious advice, and recommended, for example, the indem- 
lufication of the insurgents who had remained peasants, and llie inr.tlmont 
of such as the war had made soldiers. A better acquaintance with : i y 

had enabled him to discover the true means of appeasing the inha!>>.......-^, .tud 

of again attaching them to the republic. ♦' We must continue," said he, " to 
treat with the Chouan chiefs. Their sincerity is very doubtful, but we must 
keep faith with them. We, shall thus gain by con£dence those who only 
need to be made easy on that point. We must gain by commissions those 
who are ambitious — ^by money those who are necessitous : we should tfavs 


divide them among themselves ; and we should commit the police to those 
whom we can trust, by giving them the command of the territorial guards, 
the institution of which has just been suffered. For the rest, wc should 
distribute twenty-five thousand men in several camps to watch the whole 
country; place along the coasts a number of gun-boats which must be kept 
in continual motion ; and transfer the arsenals, the arms, and the ammunition, 
from the open towns to the forts and defended places. As for the inhabitants, 
we must employ the influence of the priests with them, and gnint some relief 
to the most distressed. If we could succeed in diffusing confidence by means 
of the priests, chouannerie would fall immediately." "Circulate," he thus 
wrote to his general ofiicers on the 27th of Ventose, "circulate the salutary 
law which the Convention has just passed respecting the freedom of religion, 
and preach up yourselves religious toleration. The priests, certain that you 
will not disturb them in the exercise of their ministry, will become your 
friends, were it only in order to be quiet. Their character inclines them to 
peace : visit them, tell them that the continuance of the war will render them 
liable to be annoyed not by the republicans, who respect religious opinions, 
but by the Chouans, who acknowledge neither God nor law, and who want 
to domineer and to plunder without ceasing. Some of them are poor, and 
in general they are very selfish ; do not neglect to offer them some succour, 
"but without ostentation, and with all the delicacy of which you are capable. 
Through them you will learn all the manoeuvres of their party, and you will 
induce them to keep their peasants at home and to prevent their fighting. 
You must be aware that, to attain this end, mildness, amenity, and frankness 
are requisite. Prevail upon some of the officers and soldiers to attend 
respectfully some of their ceremonies, taking care never to disturb them. 
The country expects of you the greatest devotedness ; all the means by which 
you can serve it are good, if they accord with the laws and with republican 
honour and dignity." To this advice, Hoche added the reconfmendation 
not to take anything from the country for the supply of the armies for some 
time at least. As for the projects of the English, he proposed to thwart 
them by taking the islands of Jersey and Guernsey, and raising a chouanne- 
rie in England, that they might have something to occupy their attention at 
home. He was thinking of Ireland ; but he wrote that on this subject he 
would enter into a verbal explanation with the committee of public welfare. 

These means, chosen with judgment and employed in more than one place 
with great address, had already been completely successful. Bretagne was 
thoroughly divided ; all the Chouans who had appeared at Rennes were 
caressed, paid, satisfied, and persuaded to lay down their arms. The others, 
more obstinate, reckoning upon Stofflet and Puisaye, were for persisting in 
carrying on the wan Cormatin continued to run from one to the other, with 
a view to bring them together at La Prevalaye, and to induce them to treat. 
Notwithstanding the ardour which he manifested to pacify the country, 
Hoohe, who had discerned his character and his vanity, distrusted him, and 
suspected that his word given to the republicans would not be better kept 
than that given to the royalists. He watched him with great attention, to 
ascertain whether he laboured sincerely and without any secret design in 
the work of reconciliation. 

Secret intrigues were destined to combine with all these circumstances in 
bringing about the pacification so earnestly desired by the republicans. We 
have already seen Puisaye in London, striving to prevail on the English 
cabinet to concur in his projects : we have seen the ^ree French princes on 
the continent, one waiting at Arnheim for a part to enact, another fighting on 


the Rhine, the third in his quality of regent, corresponding from Verona 
with all the cabinets, and keeping up a secret agency in Paris. Puisaye had 
followed up his schemes with equal activity and skill. Without waiting to 
be introduced by the old Duke d'Harcourt, the useless ambassador of the 
regent in London, he addressed himself directly to the British minister. Pitt, 
who, invisible to those emigrants who swarmed in the streets of London and 
beset him with plans and applications for relief, welcomed the organizer of 
Bretagne, and placed him in communication with Wyndham, the minister at 
war, a zealous friend of monarchy a»d anxious to support or to re-establish it 
in every country. The plans of Puisaye, maturely investigated, were 
adopted in toto. An army, a squadron, money, arms, and immense supplies 
of ammunition, were promised for a landing on the coast of France ; but 
Puisaye was required to keep the matter secret from his countrymen, and 
especially from the old Duke d'Harcourt, the envoy of the regent. Puisaye, 
who had no higher wish than to do everything by himself, was impenetrable 
to the Duke d'Harcourt, to the other agents of the princes in London, and 
above all to the Paris agents, who corresponded with the very secretary of 
the duke. Puisaye merely wrote to the Count d'Artois, applying for extra- 
ordinary powers, and proposing that he should come and put himself at the 
head of the expedition. The Prince sent the powers, and promised to come 
and take the command in person. The plans of Puisaye were soon sus- 
pected, in spite of his endeavours to keep them secret. All the emigrants 
repulsed by Pitt, and kept aloof by Puisaye, were unanimous. Puisaye, in 
their opinion, was an intriguer, sold to tlie perfidious Pitt, and meditated most 
suspicious projects. This opinion, disseminated in London, was soon 
adopted at Verona by the councillors of the regent. Since the aflfair of 
Toulon, that little court had harboured a great distrust of England : and par- 
ticular uneasiness was felt as soon as she proposed to make use of one of the 
princes. On this occasion it did not fail to ask with a sort of anxiety what 
she meant to do with M. le Comte d'Artois, why the name of Monsieur was 
not introduced in her plans, if she conceived that she could do without him, 
&c. The agents in Paris, holding their mission from the regent, sharing his 
sentiments concerning England, having been unable to obtain any communi- 
cation from Puisaye, used the same language respecting the enterprise which 
was preparing in London. Another motive contributed still more to make 
them disapprove it. The regent thought of having recourse to Spain, and 
purposed removing to that country, that he might be nearer to La Vendee 
and to Charette, who was his hero. The Paris agents, on their part, had 
entered into communication with an emissary of Spain, who had prevailed 
upon them to make use of that power, and promised that it would do for 
Monsieur and for Charette what England intended to* do for the Count 
d'Artois and for Puisaye. But it was necessary to wait till Monsieur could 
be conveyed from the Alps to the Pyrenees by the Mediterranean, and till a 
considerable expedition could be prepared. The intriguers of Paris were 
therefore wholly in favour of Spain. They pretended that the French were 
less shy of her than of the English, because her interests were less opposed 
to theirs; that, moreover, she had gained Tallien, through his wile, the 
daughter of Cabarus,* the Spanish banker ; they even dared to assert that 

* " Count Francois Cabarus, born in 1752, waa deatin«d for commrrce bj hia &th«r, and 
obtained the charge of a soap-manufactory near Madrid. Here he became acquaintetl with 
several eminent and literary characters, and sugi^ested some Anancial regulations to the Span- 
ish minister of finance, which were adopted with the greatest success. In 178S heaatabUaiMd 
the bank of Son Carlos, and a company to trade with the Philippine iaUnds. la ths 7SV 



they were sure of Hoclie, so little did they stick at imposture to give im- 
portance to their schemes. But Spain, her ships and her troops, were much 
less powerful, according to them, tlian the intrigues which they pretended to 
set on foot in the interior. Placed in the heart of the capital, they saw a 
movement of indignation manifest itself against the revolutionary system. 
This movement must be excited, said they, and if possible turned to the 
account of royalism : bTit to this end, it would have been requisite for the 
royalists to show themselves as little formidable as possible, for the Moun- 
tain was regaining strength from all the^apprehensions inspired by counter- 
revolution. A victory won by Charette, a landing of the emigrants in Bre- 
lagne, would have been sufficient to restore to the revolutionary ^arty the 
influence which it had lost, to make unpopular the Thermidorians, whom the 
royalists had need of. Charette had just made peace ; but it was requisite 
that he should hold himself in readiness to take up arms again ; it was requi- 
site that Anjou and Bretagne should also appear to submit for a time ; that, 
during tliis time, the heads of the government and the generals should be 
won, that the armies should be suffered to pass the Rhine and to advance into 
Germany ; and then that the lulled Convention should be all at once sur- 
prised, and royalty proclaimed in La Vendee, in Bretagne, and in Paris 
itself. An expedition from Spain, bringing over the regent, and concurring 
with these simultaneous movements, might then decide the victory of royalty. 
As for England, they meant to ask her for nothing but money — for these 
gentry could not do without that — and to deceive her afterwards. Thus 
each of the thousand agents employed for the counter-revolution indulged in 
his own particular revery, devised means according to his own position, and 
aspired to be the principal restorer of monarchy. Falsehood and intrigue 
were the means of most of them, and money was their principal ambition. 

With such ideas, it was natural that the Paris agency, while Puisaye was 
planning in London to carry the Count d'Artois at the head of an Expedition 
to Bretagne, should strive, on the. contrary, to thwart any expedition of the 
kind, to pacify the insurgent provinces, and to cause a feigned peace to be 
signed. By favour of the truce granted to the Chouans, Lemaitre, Brottier, 
and Laville-Heumois, had just opened communications with the insurgent 
provinces. The regent had directed them to transmit letters to Charette. 
They intrusted them to an old naval officer, deprived of his commission and 
in want of emploj^ment. They instructed him, at the same time, to promote 
the pacification by exhorting the insurgents to temporize, to wait for succours 
from Spain and for a movement in the interior. This emissary, Duverne de 
Presle, repaired to Rennes, where he forwarded the regent's letters to Cha- 
rette, and then recommended to every one a temporary submission. He was 
not the only one whom the Paris agents sent on this errand ; and very soon, 
the ideas of peace, already- generally circulated in Bretagne, spread still 
farther. People everywhere said that they must lay down their arms, that 
England was deceiving the Royalists, that they had everything to expect 
from the Convention, that it was itself about to re-establish monarchy, and 
that in the treaty signed with Charette there were secret articles, stipulating 
that the young orphan in the Temple, Louis XVIL, should soon be acknow- 
ledged as king. Cormatin, whose position had become extremely perplexing, 

1790 CabaruB was arrested, in 1792 he was released and made a nobleman, and in 1797 ap- 
pointed minister plenipotentiary at the congress of Rastadt. He died in 1810 in the office 
of minister of finance, to which he bad been appointed by King Joseph Bonaparte." — Ency' 
clapaedia Americana. E. 


and who had disobeyed the orders of Puisaye and of the central committee, 
found in the system of the Paris agents an excuse and an encouragement for 
the conduct which he pursued. It even appears that he was led to hope for 
the command of Bret^ne in the place of Puisaye. With great pains he at 
length succeeded in bringing together the principal Chouans at La Prevalaye, 
and the conferences began. 

At this juncture, Messrs. de Tintdniac* and de la Roberie were sent from 
London by Puisaye, the former to bring the Chouans powder, money, and 
intelligence of a speedy expedition, the second to carry to Charette, his 
uncle, notice to hold himself in readiness to second the descent in Bretigne, 
and both to cause tlie negotiations to be broken off. They attempted to 
land with a few emigrants near the C6tes du Nord ; the Chouans, apprized 
of their coming, had hastened to the spot ; they had had an action with the 
republicans and been beaten ; Messrs. de la Roberie and de Tinteniac had 
escaped by a miracle ; but the truce was compromised, and Hoche, who 
began to distrust the Chouans, and suspected the sincerity of Cormatin, 
thought of ordering him to be apprehended. Cormatin protested his 
sincerity to the representatives, and induced them to decide that the truce 
should not be broken. The conferences at La Prevalaye continued. An 
agent of StofHet's came to take part in them. Stofflet, beaten, pursued, 
reduced to extremity, stripped of all his resources by the discovery of the 
little arsenal which he had in a wood, had at length begged to be permitted 
to treat, and sent a representative to La Prevalaye. This was General 
Beauvais. The conferences were extremely warm, as they had been at La 
Jaunaye. General Beauvais still advocated the system of war, in spite of 
the desperate situation of the chief who sent him ; and he alleged tliat Cor- 
matin, having signed the peace of La Jaunaye and acknowledged the repub- 
lic, had lost the command with which Puisaye had invested him, and had 
no riglit to deliberate. M. de Tintenaic, who, in spite of all the dangers, 
had reached the place where the conferences were held, woiild have broken 
them off in Puisaye's name and returned immediately to London ; but Cor- 
matin and the partisans of peace prevented him. Cormatin at length 
decided the majority to agree to a negotiation, by representing that they 
should gain time by an apparent submission, and lull the vigilance of the 
republicans. The conditions were the same as those granted to Charette : 
freedom of religion, indemnities for those whoso property had been laid 
waste, exemption from the requisition, and the institution of territorial 
guards. There was an additional condition in the treaty, namely, a million 
and a half for the principal cliiefs. Cormatin was of course to receive his 
share of that sum. Cormatin, says General Beauvais, that he might not 
cease for an instant to be guilty of insincerity, at the moment of sitrniiitr. 
laid the sword upon his hand, and swore to take up arms again on the first 
occasion, and he recommended to each to maintain till fresh orders the 
established organization and the respect due to all the chiefs. 

The royalist chiefs then repaired to La Mabilaye, a league from Rcnnes, 
to sign the treaty at a formal meeting with the representatives. Many woald 
have declined going, but Cormatin prevailed upon them to attend. The 

* " M. de Tinteniac wu, in character and talents, one of the moat diadngoiahed men 
that appeared during the civil war in La Vend^ He was also rrmarkabte for his intrepid 
and enterprising nature. At one time ho swam acroaa the Loire, holding his despatcfaefl 
between his teeth ; and it is asserted, that being once in the middle of the town of Nanles, 
and finding himaelf near the ferocious Carrier, he escaped, bj threatening to blow oat lua 
braina." — Memoirt of the Marchionett de Larockejaquelein, £. 



meeting took place with the same formalities as at La Jaunaye. The Chou- 
anS had desired that Hoche might not be present, on account of his extreme 
distrust: this was agreed to. On the 1st of Floreal (April 20), the repre- 
sentatives signed the same ordinances as at La Jaunaye, and the Chouans 
signed a declaration by which they recognised the republic and submitted to 
its laws. 

On the following day, Cormatin made his entry into Rennes, as Charette 
had done at Nantes. The bustle in v/hich he had kept himself, and the im- 
portance which he had arrogated, caused him to be considered as the chief 
of the Breton royalists. To him was attributed everything — ^both the ex- 
ploits of that band of unknown Chouans who had mysteriously traversed 
Bretagne, and that peace which had been so long desired. Applauded by 
the inhabitants, caressed by the women, supplied with a round sum in assig- 
nats, he reaped all the profit and all the honours of the war, as though he 
had long waged it. He had however only just landed in Bretagne before 
he undertook to play this singular part. Nevertheless, he dared no longer 
write to Puisaye ; he could not venture to leave Rennes or trust himself in 
Bretagne, for fear of being shot by the malecontents. The principal chiefs 
returned to their divisions, wrote to Puisaye that they had been deceived, 
that he had only to come, and- they would rise at the first signal and fly to 
meet him. A few days afterwards, Stofflet finding himself deserted, signed 
a peace at St. Florent on the same conditions. 

At length, after the two Vendees and Bretagne had submitted, Charette 
received the regent's first letter: it was dated the 1st of February. The 
prince called him the second founder of the monarchy, spoke of his gra- 
titude, of his admiration, of his desire to join him, and appointed him lieu- 
tenant-general. These intimations arrived too late. Charette, deeply moved, 
replied immediately that the letter with which he had just been honoured 
filled his soul with a transport of joy ; that his attachment and his fidelity 
would still be the same ; that necessity alone had obliged him to yield, but 
that his submission was only apparent ; that when the parts should be bound 
better together,* he would again take up arms, and be ready to die before 
the face of his prince and in the most glorious of causes. 

Such was the first pacification of the insurgent provinces. As Hoche had 
suspected, it was but apparent; yet, as he had also foreseen, it might be 
made prejudicial to the Vendean chiefs, by habituating the country to repose 
and to the laws of the republic, and by calming or directing into another chan- 
nel that ardour for fighting which animated some men. Notwithstanding 
what Charette wrote to the regent, and what the Chouans intimated to Pui- 
saye, all ardour was likely to be extinguished in their hearts, after a few 
months' tranquillity. These underhand dealings were but proofs of insin- 
cerity, excusable no doubt in the excitement of civil wars, but which take 
away from those who exhibit them all right to complain of the severities of 
their adversaries. The representatives and the republican generals were 
most scrupulous in the fulfilment of the conditions granted. It is assuredly 
superfluous to demonstrate the absurdity of the rumour then circulated and even 
repeated since, that the treaties which had been signed contained secret arti- 
cles, and that these articles comprehended a promise to seat Louis XVH. on 
the throne ; as if representatives could have been so mad as to enter into 

• J'Even at this period it is evident that there existed over ail the west of France 
powerful elements of resistance, and if they had been united under one head, and seconded 
by the allied powers, it was by no means impossible to have restored the royal cause."— 
jommi, E. 


such engagements ; as if it had been possible that they could consent to 
sacrifice, to a few partisans, a republic which they persisted in upholding 
against all Europe ! Besides, none of the chiefs, in their letters to the 
princes or to the different royalist agents, ever ventured to advance such 
an absurdity. Charette, subsequently tried for having violated the con- 
ditions made with him, dared not avail himself of this powerful excuse 
of an article that was never carried into execution. Puisaye, in his Memoirs, 
considers the assertion to be equally frivolous and false : and we should 
not here have referred to it, had it not been repeated by a great number of 

This peace afforded another advantage besides that of leading to the dis- 
arming of the country. Concurring with that of Prussia, Holland, and Tus- 
cany, and with the intentions manifested by several other states, it produced 
a very great moral effect. The republic was recognised at one and the same 
time by its enemies at home and abroad, by the coalition, and by the royalist 
party itself. 

Among the decided enemies of France, there were only left Austria and 
England. Russia was too distant to be dangerous ; the empire was on the 
point of being dissevered, and was incapable of supporting the war ; Pied- 
mont was exhausted ; Spain, taking little share in the chimerical hopes of 
the intriguing royalists, sighed for peace ; and the anger of the court of Na- 
ples was as impotent as ridiculous. Pitt, notwithstanding the unparallelled 
triumphs of the republic, notwithstanding a campaign unexampled in the 
annals of war, was not shaken ; and his strong understanding perceived that 
so many victories ruinous to the continent were in no respect detrimental to 
England. The stadtholder, the princes of Germany, Austria, Piedmont, 
Spain, had lost in this war part of their territories : but England had acquired 
an incontestable superiority at sea. She was mistress of the Mediterranean 
and of the Ocean ; she had seized half the Dutch fleet; she forced the navy 
of Spain to exhaust itself against that of France ; she strove to possess her- 
self of our colonies ; she had already taken all those of the Dutch, and 
secured for ever her Indian empire. For this purpose she still needed some 
time of war and of political aberrations on the part of the continental powers: 
it was therefore to her interest to excite hostilities by affording succour to 
Austria, by rousing the zeal of Spain, by preparing fresh commotions in tlie 
southern provinces of France. So much the worse for the bellij^erent 
powers if they were beaten in a new campaign : but England had nothing 
to fear; she would pursue her course on the seas, in India, and in America. 
If, on the other hand, the powers were victorious, she would be a gnincr by 
restoring to Austria the Netherlands, which she particularly disliked to see 
in the hands of France. Such were the sanguinary but deep calculations of 
the English minister. 

Notwithstanding the losses which England had sustained, either by prizes, 
by the defeats of the Duke of York, or by the enormous expenses which she 
had incurred, .md the sums which she had given to Prussia and Piedmont, 
she still possessed resources superior to the idea which the English enter- 
tained of them, and to the idea entertained of them by Pitt iiimself. She 
complained bitterly, it is true, of the numerous captures, of the dearth, and 
of the high price of all articles of consumption. The English merchant-ves- 
sels, having alone continued to traverse the sea, had naturally run much 
greater risks of being tiken by privateers than those of other nations. The 
insurances, in which a great deal of business was done, rendered them daring, 
and very often they would not wait for convoys. This it was that gave so 



many advantages to our cruisers. As for the dearth, it was general all over 
Europe. On the Rhine, about Frankfort, a bushel of rye cost fifteen florins. 
The enormous consumption of the armies, the multitude of hands taken 
from agriculture, the troubles in unhappy Poland,* which had this year fur- 
nished scarcely any corn, had occasioned this extraordinary dearth. Be- 
sides, transport from the Baltic to England was rendered almost impossible 
since the French were masters of Holland. It was to the New World that 
Europe had been obliged to resort for provisions ; she lived at this moment 
on the surplus produce of those virgin lands which the North Americans had 
just brought into cultivation. But freight was high, and bread had risen in 
England to an enormous price. That of meat had increased proportionably. 
Spanish wool ceased to arrive, since the French occupied the ports of Bis- 
cay, and the manufacture of cloth was likely to be interrupted. Thus 
England, while in labour with her future greatness, suflfered severely. The 
workmen struck in all the manufacturing towns ; the people called aloud for 
peace, and petitions were presented to parliament, subscribed by thousands 
of signatures, imploring an end to this disastrous war. Ireland, agitated on 
account of concessions which had been withdrawn from it, was about to 
add fresh embarrassments to those in which the government was already 

In this arduous situation, Pitt discovered motives and means for continu- 
ing the war. In the first place, it flattered the passions of his court ; it flat- 
tered even those of the English nation, which cherished a deadly hatred 
against France, that could always be revived amidst the severest sufferings. 
In the next, notwithstanding the losses of commerce (losses which proved, 
however, that the English alone had continued to frequent the seas), he saw 
English commerce increased during the last two years by the exclusive sup- 
ply of all the markets of India and America. He had ascertained that the 
exports had amazingly increased since the commencement of the war, and 
he already had a glimpse of the future prosperity of the English nation. He 
found in loans an expedient, at the fecundity of which he was himself asto- 
nished. The funds had not fallen ; the loss of Holland had but little affected 
them, because, the event being foreseen, an enormous quantity of capital had 
been transferred from Amsterdam to London. The Dutch commercial men, 
though patriots, had nevertheless no confidence in events, and had sought to 
place their wealth in safety by transporting it to England. Pitt had talked 
of a new loan to a considerable amount, and in spite of the war, the off'ers 
for it were more numerous than ever. Experience has since proved that 
war, while it forbids commercial speculations and admits of no speculations 
but in the public funds, facilitates loans instead of rendering them more dif- 
ficult. This must happen still more naturally in a country which, having 
no neighbours, never sees in war a question of existence, but merely a ques- 
tion of trade and markets. Pitt resolved, therefore, by means of the abun- 
dant capital of his nation, to supply Austria with funds, to strengthen his 
navy, to increase his land forces, for the purpose of sending them to India 

• " Abandoned by all the world, distracted by internal divisions, destitute alike of for- 
tre««e« and resources, crushed in the grasp of gigantic enemies, the patriots of unhappy 
Poland, consulting only their own courage, resolved to make a last effort to deliver it from 
its enemies. But the tragedy was soon at an end. Warsaw capitulated, the detached 
parties of the patriots melted away, and Poland was no more ! In Novemlwr, 1794, Suwar- 
Tow made his triumphal entry into the capital. King Stanislaus was sent into Russia, 
where he ended his days in captivity, and the final partition of the monarchy was effected." 
—Alison. E. 

VOL. Ul. — 31 X 


or Amenca, and to give considerable Buccours to the French insurgents. He 
coucliided a subsidiary treaty with Austria, like that which he had made in 
the preceding year with Prussia. That power had soldiers, and'promised to 
keep on foot at least two hundred thousand eiTective men ; but she was in 
want of money. She could no longer open loans either in Switzerland, in 
Frankfort, or in Holland. England engaged not to furnish Uie funds, but to 
guarantee the loan which she proposed to open in London. To guaramtee 
the debts of a power like Austria is very much like undertaking to pay them ; 
but tlie operation in this form was much more easy to justify in parliament. 
The loan was for 4,600,000/. (115 millions of francs) at 5 per cent, interesu 
Pitt opened at the same time a loan of 18 millions sterling on account of 
England at 4 per cent. The eagerness of capitalists was extreme ; and, as 
the Austrian loan was guaranteed by the English govenmient, and bore a 
higher interest, they required that for two-thirds taken in the English lorn 
they should have one-third given them in the Austrian. Pitt, having' thus 
made sure of Austria, strove to awaken the zeal of Spain, but he found it 
extinct. He took into his pay the emigrant regiments of Conde, and he 
told Puisaye that, as the pacification of La Vendee diminished the confi- 
dence inspired by the insurgent provinces, he would give him a squadroiit 
the materiel for an army, and emigrants formed into regiments, but a»tba§f 
lish soldiers, and that if, as letters from Bretagne stated, the dispentiohs 
of the royalists were not changed, and if the expedition proved successful, 
he would endeavour to render it decisive by sending an army. He then re- 
solved to raise the number of seamen from eighty to one hundred thousand. 
For this purpose he devised a sort of conscription. Every merchant-vessel 
was obliged to furnish one seaman for every seven of her crew : it was a 
debt which it was but fair that commerce should pay for the proteetimi 
which it received from the royal navy. Agriculture and manufactures were 
likewise uivler obligations to the navy, which insured them markets ; in con- 
sequence, each parish was also obliged to furnish one seaman. In tlxis 
manner he secured the means of making an extraordinary addition to the 
strength of the English navy.* The English men-of-war were very inferior 
in construction to the French ships ; but the immense superiority in number, 
the excellence of the crews, and tlie skill of the officers, put rivalry entirely 
out of the question. 

With all these means combined, Pitt presented himself to the parliament. 
The opposition had this year gained an accession of about twenty members. 
The partisans of peace and of Uie French Revolution were more aniiiiltted 
than ever, and they had strong facts to oppose to the minister. The lan- 
guage which Pitt lent to the crown, and which he himself held durinir this 
session, one of the most memorable of the English parliament on account 
of the importance of the questions and the eloquence of Fox and Sheridan, 
was extremely specious. .. He admitted that France had obtained unexam- 
pled triuipphs, but these triumphs, instead of discouraging her enemies, 
ought on the contrary, he said, to impart to them more firmness and perse> 
verancc. It was still England against which France bore a grudge ; it was 
her constitution, her prosperity, tliat she was striving to destroy ; it was de- 
cidedly far from prudent, far from honourable, to shrink from such a rancer- 

* " England now augmented her naval force to a hundred tbouMivI aeaniea : one hundred 
and eight ships of the line were put into rommiMon, and lbs land forces ware raised to a 
hundred and fifty thouHand men. New taxes were impowd, and notwilhatanding the most 
vehemeot debates, ParUaincnt concurred in the Deeessity, now that we were eatbarked io tbe 
contest, of prosecuting it with vigour." — Netc Annual Jirgister. E. 



ous animosity To lay down her arms at that moment above all, would 
discover, he said, a disastrous weakness. France, having no other foes than 
Austria and the Empire to combat, would overwhelm them ; she would then 
come back, relieved from her continental enemies, and fall up6n England, 
who, thenceforth single-handed, would have to sustain a tremendous shock. 
It was right to take advantage of the moment, while several powers were 
yet in the field, to crush in concert the common enemy, to oblige France to 
retire within her own limits, to wrest from her the Netherlands, and Holland, 
to drive back into her own bosom her armies, her commerce, and her mis- 
chievous principles. Moreover, it required only one more effort to over- 
whelm her. She had conquered, it was true, but only by exhausting herself, 
by employing barbarous means, which had spent themselves by their very- 
violence. The maximum, requisitions, assignats, terror, had spent them- 
selves in the hands of the chiefs of France. All these chiefs had fallen by 
striving to conquer at such a price. One more campaign, then, said Pitt, 
and Europe, England, will be avenged and secured from a sanguinary revo- 
lution. Were there any whom these reasons of honour, of safety, or of 
policy, failed to touch ? were there any still bent on making peace ? he would 
tell them that it would not be possible. The French demagogues would 
repel it with that ferocious pride which they had displayed even before they 
were victorious. And in order to treat with them where was one to find 
them ? where look for the government amid those bloodthirsty factions, 
urging each other on to power and disappearing as soon as they had attained 
it ? how hope for solid conditions in negotiating with such transient deposi- 
tories of a still disputed authority? It was, therefore, not honourable, it was 
imprudent, it was impossible to negotiate. England still possessed immense 
resources ; her exports had wonderfully increased ; her commerce sustained 
losses which proved its boldness and its activity ; her navy had become 
formidable, and her great capitalists came spontaneously to offer themselves 
in abundance to the government, for the purpose of continuing this just and 
necessary war. 

Such were the epithets which Pitt had given to this war from the outset, 
and which he affected to give it still. It is evident that amidst these reasons 
of declamation he could not assign the real motives ; that he could not con- 
fess by what Machiavelian ways he aimed at conducting England to the 
highest pinnacle of power. Men shrink from the avowal of such an ambi- 
tion before the face of the world. 

Hence the opposition replied victoriously to the false reasons which he 
was obliged to assign in default of the real ones. We were told at the end 
of last session, said Fox and Sheridan, that one more campaign would be 
sufficient : that the allies had already several fortresses, from which thev 
were to sally forth in the spring and annihilate France. But what are the 
facts? The French have conquered Flanders, Holland, the whole left bank 
of the Rhine, excepting Mayence, part of Piedmont, the greater part of Cata- 
lonia, and the whole of Navarre. Where is such a campaign to be found 
in the annals of Europe ? They have taken, we are told, some fortresses. 
Show us a war in which so many fortified places have been reduced in a 
single campaign ! If the French, struggling against all Europe, have had 
such success, what advantages are they not likely to gain in a conflict with 
Austria and England left almost alone ; for the other powers are either no 
longer able to second us, or have made peace ! We are told that they are 
exhausted; that the assignats, their sole resource, have lost all tlieir value; 
that their present government has ceased to possess its former energy. But 


the Americans saw their paper-money fall ninety per cent., and yet they 
were not conquered. But this government, when it is energetic, we are told 
is barbarous ; now that it is become humane and moderate, it is said to pos- 
sess no enefgy. We are told of our resources, of our great wealth ; but the 
people are perishing of want, and unable to pay for either bread or meat ; 
they are loudly demanding peace. That wonderful wealth, which seems to 
be created by enchantment — is it real ? Can treasures be created out of pa» 
per? All those systems of finance conceal some frightful error, some im- 
mense void, which will suddenly appear. We go on lavishing our wealth 
on the powers of Europe ; we have already wasted it on Piedmont and on 
Prussia ; we are again going to waste it on Austria. Who will guarantee us 
that this power will be more faithful to her engagements than Prussia ? Who 
will guarantee us that she will not break her promise and treat, after taking our 
money ? We are exciting an infamous civil war ; we are arming the French 
against their native country, and yet to our shame these French, acknowledging 
their error and the wisdom of their new government, have just laid down their 
arms. Shall we go and fan the expiring embers of La Vendue, for the purpjose 
of producing a tremendous conflagration there ? We are told of the barbarous 
principles of France. Is there in those principles anything more anti-social 
than our conduct towards the insurgent provinces ? All the means of war are, 
therefore, equivocal or culpable. Peace, we are assured, is impossible. 
France hates England. But when did the violence of the French against us 
break forth ? Was it not when we manifested the guilty intention of wrest- 
ing from them their liberty, of interfering in the choice of their government, 
of exciting civil war among them? Peace, we are further told, would spread 
the pestilence of their principles. But Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, the 
Uaited States, are at peace with them. Is their constitution destroyed? 
Peace, it is added, is impossible with a tottering government, a government 
that is incessantly changing. But Prussia and Tuscany have found some 
one to treat with ; Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and the United States, 
know to whom to address themselves in their relations with France ; and yet 
we cannot negotiate with her! We ought then to have been told on com- 
mencing the war, that we should not make peace before a certain form of 
government had been re-established among our enemies ; before the republic 
had been abolished among them ; before they had submitted to the insti- 
tutions which it pleased our fancy to give them. 

Amidst this clash of reasons and of eloquence, Pitt pursued his course, 
and, without ever assigning his real motives, obtained all that he desired: 
loans, naval conscription, and the suspension of the habeas corpus act. 
With his treasures, his navy, the two hundre<l thousand men belonging to 
Austria, and the desperate courage of the French insurgents, ho resolved to 
make a new campaign this year, certain at any rate to nile the seas, if 
victory on the continent should adhere to the enthusiastic nation which he 
was fighting. 

These negotiations, these conflicts of opinion in Eiirope, these prepara- 
tions for war, prove of what importance our country then was in the world. 
At this juncture, ambassadors #ere seen to arrive all at once from Sweden, 
from Denmark, from Holland, from Prussia, from Tuscany, from Venice, 
and from America. On their arrival in Paris they called upon the president 
of the Convention, whom they found lodging sometimes in a second or thiwl 
story, and whose simple and polite reception had 8UPx*eeded the ancient in- 
troductions at court. They were then ushered into that famous hall, where, 
^n humble beaches, and in the simplest costume, sat that Assembly which, 




from the might and the grandeur of its passions, appeared no longer ridicu- 
lous but terrible. They had an arm-chair opposite to that of the president; 
they spoke seated ; the president replied in the same manner, calling them 
by the titles specified in their credentials. He then gave them the fraternal 
salute, and proclaimed them representatives of the power by which they 
were sent. They had a tribune set apart for them, where they could witness 
those stormy discussions, which excited in strangers as much curiosity as 
terror. Such was the ceremonial observed in regard to the ambassadors of 
foreign powers. Its simplicity befitted a republic, receiving without pomp, 
but with decency and respect, the envoys of monarchs whom it had van- 
quished. The name of Frenchmen was then a glorious name. It was en- 
nobled by splendid victories, and by the purest of all, those gained by a na- 
tion in defence of its existence and of its liberty. 



The events of Germinal had produced the usual consequence of an uncer- 
tain action for the two parties which divided France ; those two parties had 
become the more violent in consequence, and the more intent on destroying 
one another. In the whole of the South, and particularly at Avignon, Mar- 
seilles, and Toulon, the revolutionists, more menacing and more audacious 
than ever, foiling all the eflforts that were made to disarm them or to send 
them back to their communes, continued to demand the release of the patriots, 
tlie death of all returned emigrants, and the constitution of 1793. They cor- 
responded with the partisans whom they had in every province ; tliey called 
them to their aid ; they exhorted them to collect at two principal points, Tou- 
lon for the Soutli, Paris for the North. When they should be strong enough 
at Toulon, they would raise the departments! they said, and advance to join 
their brethren in the north. This was precisely the plan adopted by the 
federalists in 1793. 

Their adversaries, whether royalists or Girondins, had become bolder, 
since the government, attacked in Germinal, had given the signal for perse- 
cutions. Masters of the administrations, they made a terrible use of the 
decrees passed against the patriots. They imprisoned them, as accomplices 
of Robespierre's, or as having had the management of the public money 
witliout rendering any account of it. They disanned them, as having parti- 
cipated in the tyranny abolished on the 9th of Thermidor; or, lastly, tliey 
haunted them from place to place, as having quitted their communes. It 
was in the South itself that these hostilities against the unfortunate patriots 
were most active ; for violence always provokes equal violence. In tlie do- 



partment of the Rhone, a terrible reaction was in contemplation. The roy- 
alists, being obliged to flee from the cruel violence of 1793, returned through 
Switzerland, crossed tlie frontier, entered Lyons with false passports, talked 
there of the King, of religion, of past pros|)erity, and availed themselves of 
the recollection of the massacres, to bring back to monarchy a city which 
liad become wholly republican. Tlius the royalists looked towards Lyons 
for aid, as .the patriots did towards Toulon. It was said that Precy had re- 
turned and was concealed in the city, upon which he had, by his valour, 
brought all its calamities. A multitude of emigrants, collecting at Basle, at 
Berne, and at Lausanne, showed themselves more presumptuously than 
ever. They talked of their speedy return ; they said that their friends go- 
verned; that they would soon seat the son of Louis XVL on tlie throne, 
procure themselves to be recalled, and their property to be restored to them ; 
and that with the exception of some Terrorists and some military officers 
whom it would be necessary to punish, everybody would eagerly contribute 
to this restoration. At Lausanne, where ail the youth were enthusiastic 
admirers of the French Revolution, they were annoyed but were forced to 
hold their tongues. Li other places, they were suffered to talk : people 
despised these vain boastings, to which they were pretty well accustomed 
for six years past ; but they were shy of some of them, who had pensions 
from the Austrian police for acting as spies in the inns upon travellers who 
should use indiscreet language. It was towards this quarter too, that is, 
near Lyons, that companies were formed, which, calling themselves compa- 
nies of the Sun, and companies of Jesus, were to scour the country or to pe- 
netrate into the towns, and put to death the patriots who had retired to their 
estates or were confined in the prisons.* T^ie transported priests also 
returned by this frontier, and had already spread Uiemselves over all the east- 
ern provinces ; they declared all that had been done by the priests who had 
taken the oath to be null and void ; they rebaptized children, remarried cou- 
ples, and excited in the people a hatred and contempt of the government. 
They took care to keep near the frontier in order to recross it at the first 
signal. Those who had not suffered transportation, and who enjoyed in 
France a pension for their support and the free exercise of their religion, 
abused the tolerance of the government as much as tlie transported priests. 
Dissatisfied at having to say mass in houses either hired or lent, tliey stirred 
up the people and instigated them to seize the churches, which had become 
the property of the communes. A great number of disturbances had taken 
place on this subject, and force had been required to compel submission to 
the decrees. In Paris, the journalists in the pay of royalisni, stimulated by 
Lemaitrc, wrote with more boldness than ever against the Revolution, and 
almost openly preached up monarchy. Racroix, the author of tite Speetth 
teur, had been acquitted of the charges preferred against him ; and since then 
the herd of libellers had ceased to be afraid of the rcvolulionarj* tribunal. 

Thus the two parties were arrayed against each otlier, and ready for a de- 
cisive engagement. The revolutionists, resolved to strike tlie blow of which 
the 12th of Germinal had beej^ merely the threat, conspired openly. They 

* " Compcniei of Je<ua and Companies of the Sun took the place of the CompuiiM of 
Marat, ami exacted as sevrre a retribution. At Lyons, at Aix, at Tarascon, at MaraeiUeab 
they slew all those confined in the pri8«)ns who had participated in the reTolotionary trana- 
•ctiona, pursoed those who had escaped into the streets, and without anj other form or notice 
than the reproach, • Behold a Matavin !' (thr ■-;-1'"t"" they gave to their opponcntx,) slew 
them, and threw them into the river. .\t Ta; recipitated them from a high tower 

on a rock which bordered on the Rhine." — 7/.. 



hatched plots in every quarter, since they had lost their principal chiefs who- 
alone framed plans for the whole f>arty. An association was formed at the 
house of a man named Lagrelet, in tlie Rue de Bretagne. The plan was to 
collect several mobs, and to put Cambon, Maribon-Montant, and Thuriot, at 
the head of them ; to despatch some of them to the prisons to deliver the 
patriots, others to the committees to seize them, and others again to the Con- 
vention to extort decrees from it. When once masters of the Convention, 
the conspirators purposed to oblige it to reinstate the imprisoned deputies, to 
annul the condemnation passed upon Billaud-Varennes, CoUot-d'Herbois, 
and Barrere ; to exclude the seventy-three, and immediately to pjoclaira the 
constitution of 1793. Everything was prepared, even to the crowbars for 
breaking open the prisons, the rallying tickets for recognising the conspira- 
tors, and a piece of stuff to hang out at the window of the house from which 
all the orders were to be issued. A letter, concealed in a loaf and addressed 
to a prisoner, was intercepted. In this letter it was said, " On the day that 
you will receive some eggs half white and half red, you will hold yourself 
in readiness. The day fixed was the 1st of Floreal. One of the conspira- 
tors betrayed the plan, and communicated the secret and the details to the 
committee of general safety. The committee immediately caused all the 
chiefs who were pointed out to be apprehended, but unfortunately this did 
not derange the plans of the patriots ; for at that time every one was a chief, 
and people were conspiring in a thousand places at once* Rovere, who 
formerly deserved the name of a Terrorist, in the time of the old committee 
of public welfare, and now a vailiant reactor, presented a report on this plot 
to the Convention, and inveighed vehemently against the deputies who were 
to be put at the head of the assemblages. Those deputies were utter 
strangers to the plot, and their names had been used without their know- 
ledge, because the conspirators had need of them, and reckoned upon their 
being well disposed to the plot. Already condemned by a decree to be con- 
fined at Ham, they had not obeyed, but withdrawn themselves from the 
operation of that decree. At the instigation of Rovere, the assembly decided 
that, if they did not surrender themselves immediately, they should be trans- 
ported on the sole ground of their disobedience. This abortive project 
plainly indicated that an event was near at hand. 

As soon as the journals had made known this new plpt of the patriots, a 
great agitation was manifested at Lyons and the rage against them was 
redoubled. At this moment, a noted Terrorist denouncer, prosecuted by 
virtue of the decree passed against the accomplices of Robespierre, was put 
upon his trial at Lyons. The newspapers containing Rovere's report on 
the plot of the 29th of Germinal had just arrived. The people of Lyons 
began to assemble ; most of them had to deplore either the ruin of their for- 
tune or the death of relatives. They beset the hall of the tribunal. Boisset, 
the representative, mounted his horse; they surrounded him, and each began 
to enumerate the complaints that he had to make against the man who was 

• " Paris was full of conspirators, for the Convention had lost its popularity, because it had 
evinced so little disposition to relieve the suiTerings of the people, which bad now become 
absolutely intolerable. The conspiring anarchists profited by this preferment, and did their 
utmost to augment it, because that class reap no harvest but in the fields of misery. France, 
exhausted by every species of sufiering, had lost even the power of uttering a complaint ; 
and we had all arrived at such a point of depression, that death, if unattended by pain, 
would have been wished for, by even the youngest human being. But it was ordaineil that 
many months and years should still continue in that state of horrible agitation, the true fore- 
taste of the torments of holl." — Duchess d'Abrantes. E 



upon his trial. Tlie promoters of disturbance, the compaDies of the Sun 
and of Jesus, availing themselves of this manifestation of public feeling, 
excited a tumult, repaired to the prisons, broke them open, and murdered 
seventy or eighty prisoners, reputed Terrorists.* The national guard made 
some efTorls to prevent this massacre, but showed perhaps less zeal than it 
would have displayed, had it not harboured such violent resentment against 
tlie victims of that day. 

Thus no sooner was the Jacobin plot of the 29th of Germinal made public, 
than the counter-revolutionists replied to it by the massacre at Lyons on the 
6th of Floreal. The sincere republicans, though they saw tlie plans of the 
Terrorists, were nevertheless alarmed at those of the counter-revolutionists. 
Hitherto they had been wholly occupied in preventing a Jiew terror, and had 
felt no apprehension of royalism. Koyalism, in fact, appeared very remote 
after the executions of the revolutionary tribunal and the victories of our 
armies; but when they beheld it, driven as it were from La Vendee, return- 
ing by Lyons, forming companies of assassins, pushing on seditious priests 
into tlie heart of France, and dictating in Paris itself publications filled with 
the violence of the emigrants, they changed their opinion and thought that, 
to the rigorous measures adopted against the tools of terror, it would be right 
to add others against the partisans of royalty. In the first place, to leave 
those without pretext who had suffered from excesses and demanded vea- 
geance for them, they caused the tribunals to be enjoined to exert more 
activity in tlie prosecution of persons charged with peculation, abuse of 
autliority, and oppressive acts. They tlien set about devising the measures 
most capable of curbing tlie royalists. Chenier, known for his literary 
talents and his avowedly republican opinions, was directed to draw up a 
report on this subject. He drew an energetic picture of France, of the two 
parties which disputed the empire over her, and especially of the seditious 
manoeuvres of the emigrants and the clergy, and he proposed to direct every 
returned emigrant to be immediately delivered up to the tribunals, in order 
that -he might be dealt with according to law; to consider as an emigrant 
every banished person who had returned to France and should be still there 
at the expiration of one month ; to punish with six months' imprisonment 
all who should violate the law relative to the exercise of religion, and who 
should attempt to take possession of the churches by force ; to condemn to 
banishment every writer who should instigate to outrages against tlie national 
representation or- to the restoration of royalty; lastly, to oblige all the 
authorities charged with disarming tlie Terrorists to assign tlie motives for 
disarming them. 

All these measures were adopted, excepting two which occasioned some 
observations. Thibaudeau considered the proposition as imprudent which 
recommended the punishment of violators of the law relative to religious 
worship with six months' imprisonment; he jusdy remarked that the churches 
were fit for one purpose only, that of religious ceremonies ; that the people 
devout enough to attend mass in private meeting-houses would always feel 
extremely sore at being deprived of those edifices in which it was formerly 
held ; tliat, in declaring tlie government exempted for ever from tlie expense 

* " One prison at Lyons was set on fire by the infurialcJ mob, and the unhappy inmates 
all perishrd in the flames. The people, ex»Hpcratt>d with the blood which had been shed bj 
the revolutionary party, were insatiable in their vengeance; they invoked the name of a 
parent, brother, or sister, when retaliating on their oppra«ora; and while committing murder 
themselves, exclaimed with every stroke, ' Die, assaaaina !' Many innocent pcrsoiM periahaj^ 
as in all popular tuuiulU>, duriug these bloody days." — AUson. E. 


of all religious worship, it ought to have restored the churches to the Catho- 
lics, to prevent regrets, commotions, and perhaps a general rising as in 
Vendee. Thibaudeau's observations were not favourably received ; for it 
was feared lest, in restoring the churches to the Catholics, even though to be 
kept up at their own cost, the assembly might restore ceremonies to the old 
clergy which were a part of its power. Tallien, who had become a journal- 
ist with Freron, and who, either from this reason or from an affectation 
of justice, was induced to protect the independence of the press, opposed the 
penalty of banishment against writers. He insisted that this was an arbitrary . 
plan and left too great latitude for severities against the press. He was 
right ; but, in that state of open war with royalism, it was perhaps of im- 
portance that the Convention should declare itself strongly against those 
libellers who strove to bring back France so soon to monarchical ideas. 
Louvet, tliat fiery Girondin, whose distrust had done so much injury to his 
party, but who was one of the most sincere men in the assembly, hastened 
to reply to Tallien, and besought all the friends of the republic to forget 
their dissensions and their reciprocal grievances, and to unite against their 
oldest enemy, the only real one they had — namely, royalty. The testimony 
of Louvet in favour of violent measures was least suspicious of all, for he 
had braved the most cruel proscription to oppose the system of revolutionary 
means. The whole assembly applauded his frank and noble declaration, 
voted that his speech should be printed and sent to every part of France, 
and adopted the article to the great confusion of Tallien, who had chosen 
such a wrong time for supporting a just and true maxim. 

Thus, at the same time that tlie Convention ordered the prosecution and 
the disarming of the patriots, and their return to their communes, it renewed 
the laws against the emigrants and the exiled priests, and instituted penalties 
against the opening of tlie churches and against royalist pamphlets. But 
penal laws are feeble guards against parties ready to rush upon one another. 
Thibaudeau was of opinion that the organization of the committees of go- 
vernment since the 9th of Thermidor was too weak and too relaxed. This 
organization, established at the moment when the dictatorship was just over- 
thrown, had been devised only under the dread of anew tyranny. Thus 
excessive tension of all the springs had been followed by extreme relaxation. 
The restoration of their influence to all the committees, for the purpose of 
destroying the too predominant influence of the committee of public welfare, 
had led to skirmishing, to delays, and to a complete enfeebling of the govern- 
ment. In fact, if a disturbance occurred in a department, the established 
routine required that the committee of general safety should first be made 
acquainted with it: that committee summoned the committee of public wel- 
fare, and in certain cases, that of legislation ; it was necessary to wait till 
these committees were complete before they could assemble, and then that 
they should have time to confer together. Thus their meetings were ren- 
dered almost impossible, and too numerous to act. If it was requisite merely 
to send twenty men by way of guard, the committee of general safety, charged 
with the police, was obliged to apply to the military committee. Now it 
began to be felt how wrong it was to be so exceedingly afraid of the tyranny 
of the old committee of public welfare, and to take such precautions against 
a danger that was thenceforward chimerical. A government thus organized .i|£^- 
could but very feebly resist the factions conspiring against one another, and •* 
oppose to them only a powerless authority. Thibaudeau proposed, there- 
fore, a simplification of the government. He moved that all the committees • 
should be confined to the mere proposition of laws, and that the measures 

VOL. HI. — 32 



of execution should all be assigned to the committee of public welfare ; that 
the latter should combine the police with its other functions, and that conse- 
quently the committee of general safety should be abolished ; that, lastly, the 
committee of public welfare, charged thus with the whole government, should 
be increased to twenty-four members, in order that it might be adequate to 
the extent of its new duties. The cowards in the assembly, who were always 
ready to arm themselves against impossible dangenr, cried out against this 
plan, and said that it was a renewal of the old dictatorship. The discussion 
being opened, each proposed his plan. Those who had the mania for revert- 
ing to constitutional means, or to the division of powers, proposed to create 
an executive power out of the assembly, in order to separate the execution 
from the voting of the law. Others were for selecting the members of this 
power from the assembly, but for depriving them, so long as they held their 
office, of any legislative vote. 

After long digressions, the assembly felt that, having but two or three 
months longer to exist, that is to say, only just the time requisite for making 
a constitution, it was ridiculous to waste it in framing a provisional consti- 
tution, and especially to renounce its dictatorship at a moment when it had 
more need of strength than ever. All the propositions tending to a division 
of the powers were in consequence rejected; but the assembly had too great 
z dread of Thibaudeau's plan to adopt it. It contented itself therefore with 
merely clearing the track of the committees a little more. It was decided 
that they should be confined to the mere proposition of laws ; that the com- 
mittee of public welfare alone should possess the powers of execution, but 
that the police should remain with the committee of general safety : that the 
meetings of committees should take place only by the deputation of commis- 
sioners; and lastly, the assembly, in* order to guard itself still more against 
that formidable and so much dreaded committee of public welfare, decided 
that it should be deprived of the initiative of the laws, and never be capable 
of making propositions tending to proceedings against any deputy. 

While the assembly took these means for restoring a litdc energy to the 
government, it continued to pay attention to those financial questions, the 
discussion of which had been intemipted by the events of the month of 
Germinal. The abolition of the 7naximum, of requisitions, of the seques- 
tration, of the whole apparatus of forced means, in giving back things to 
their natural movement, had rendered the fall of the assignats more rapid. 
The sales being no Jonger forced, and the prices having again become free, 
goods had risen in an extraordinary manner and consequently the assignats 
had fallen in proportion. The communications with foreign countries being re- 
established, the assignat had again entered into comparison with foreign paper, 
and its inferiority had been rapidly manifested by the continually increasing fall 
of the excHange. Tiius the fall of the paper-money was complete in every re- 
spect ; and, agreeably to the ordinary law of velocities, the rapidity of this fall 
was increased by its very rapidity. Every too abrupt change in the value of 
efrectJsproduceshazardousq)eculation8, that is, jobbing. As such change never 
happens but from the effect of some derangement either political or finanrial, 
as consequently production suffers, as manufactures and commerce are im- 
peded, this kind of speculation is almost the only one that is left ; and then, 
mstead of fabricating or of transporting new commodities, people hasten to 
speculate on the variations in price of those which exist. Instead of pro- 
ducing, they gamble with what i.s produced. Stockjobbing, which had riser 
to such a pitch in the months of April, May, and June, 1793, when the de- 
fection of Dumouricz, U»e insurrection of La Vendue, and the federalist 
coalition, had occasioned so considerable a fall in the astignats, again appear 



ed with greater violence than ever in Ger